People around the world must walk for daily supplies to survive, and to honor that people around Lycoming County will walk up to 10 miles to raise money for those in need.
The Greater Lycoming County CROP Hunger Walk 2012 will take place on the Susquehanna River Walk, starting at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 14. Registration begins at 1 p.m. at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 142 Market St.
"There's a friendly competition in the churches," said the Rev. Kenneth Wagner-Pizza, event chairman and pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church. This is Wagner-Pizza's first year as chairman.
His church's youth group normally is one of the top money raisers. He told them if they meet their goal of $3,333.33, they can choose whatever color they want to dye his hair.
Yet the walk draws more than just church groups - local college and high school groups also participate.
"They may be religious or non-religious," Wagner-Pizza said.
There is no minimum for groups or money raised. Groups and individuals can raise money by asking face-to-face or online.
While this is not the first year that people could raise money online, it is the first time it has been heavily promoted.
"You can ask all over the country," Wagner-Pizza said. "I found, personally, raising money from contracting through email is better than one-on-one. It also helps raise awareness of what the Crop Walk is."
The money raised is split between helping locally and globally.
County organizations, including American Rescue Workers Food Pantry, the Sonlight House of Muncy, the United Churches Food Pantry and St. Anthony's Center, will receive 25 percent of the money raised. The rest will be distributed by Church World Service throughout the world.
This will be the 33rd Crop Walk, which has changed from the Greater Williamsport Walk to the Greater Lycoming County Walk to include other areas that previously held their own.
During the past 32 years, the Greater Williamsport Walk collected more than $731,000. The Trout Run Walk collected more than $42,000 since its beginning. Throughout the county, more than $1 million has been raised to stop hunger.
Last year's walk raised more than $15,000 and involved the participation of hundreds of individuals and 37 churches, synagogues and civic organizations.
The walk can be as long or as short as pedestrians want.
Before they begin, they stop to pray with the distributed prayer, then focus on a card of a person in need while they walk.
"It's a way for people to connect to who they're raising money for," Wagner-Pizza said.
The River Walk is 3 miles long and participants can choose to do one loop for 3 miles, two for 6 or three for 9. Those who wish to get in an even 10 miles just have to walk a bit further.
The location is ideal because it helps keep people safe, while staying in the public's eye, said Sally Lifland Butterfield.
Previously, the walk took place in the city and parents had to worry about children who were running across streets. Then it moved to Indian Park in Montoursville, which took participants away from the city.
"We lost visibility," Butterfield said. "We're raising money and raising awareness of those who walk and those in the community."
By returning the walk to the city, those not involved still can see the work being done.