100 Mile Hunger Walk 3.0 preparations started!!!!
A short update, to announce that our preparations for 100 Mile Hunger Walk 3.0 have started. I will be walking from June 15-20 in the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois! This year’s walk will have the theme of Women’s Empowerment (thought it would be a good and important theme while my mom will become 85 years old in July) and I would like to walk with extra-ordinary women / champions and some of them will hopefully also be able to join me for the CWS Gala on June 20 in Chicago. I have already the commitment from a number of people and I will share those names in the weeks to come. I also heard today that Injinji is again providing me with free toe-socks, so that the chances of me getting blisters will be dramatically reduced. I better start training again…. Stay tuned.
Check out my other blog: http://standupfighthunger.tumblr.com/ while I am preparing for 100 mile hunger walk 3.0 :)
Coverage by NBC
Please find the coverage by Rachel Davidson of NBC Bay Area about the CWS CROP Hunger Walk in San Jose last weekend.
And yes, you can still DONATE!
Day 9: Hunger and poverty in Silicon Valley?
Last month the Business Insider reported that hunger and poverty is on the rise in Silicon Valley. Apparently, “the number of people on food stamps recently hit a 10-year high and homelessness went up 20 percent in two years.” It might seem strange but if you would have seen the movie “A place at the table,” or would have talked with some of the CROP Hunger Walk volunteers, or Food Bank staff this week during my visits in the San Francisco Bay Area, you would not have been surprised anymore.
Luckily the CWS CROP Hunger Walk is also organized in San Jose and was again successful thanks to volunteers like Virginia Parks, member of the South Bay CROP Hunger Walk Planning Committee. The South Bay walk supports two local agencies: Second Harvest Food Bank and Sacred Heart Community Service. Congressman Mike Honda joined us for the Walk. He gave an inspiring speech before the walk started and it was good to see that a politician was willing to come out and show his solidarity and support.
If there is one thing that became again clear to me this week, is that we need to get all the different sectors and people (so, government, politicians, food industry and other business sectors, NGOs like CWS, volunteers and the people affected by hunger and poverty themselves and so on) together to turn the tide. There are many challenges ahead, but I am convinced we can end hunger and malnutrition, as we say… one step at a time. I hope I was able to give you a couple of ideas on this blog on what you can do yourself.
Keep on checking this site and in the meantime, please spread the word especially as you can still help me to reach my goal of $5,000! It would be awesome to arrive on Monday morning, check my email and find an additional $370. So, yes……
On Sunday there was also a crew of NBC Bay Area who interviewed Congressman Honda, Vy and me. It resulted in a very small news item on the 5 o’clock news.
Day 8: The Far East County (Brentwood) CROP Hunger Walk
Indeed, I finished my 100 mile Walk yesterday, but it doesn’t mean that I will stop Walking while in the Bay Area. As you might recall, I committed myself to support the Far East County (Brentwood) CROP Hunger Walk, one of the 11 events of the Bay Area Hunger Walk this weekend. I have to admit, I was not looking forward waking up early as we finally finished our video and blog at 1:30 a.m. Nevertheless, when we arrived at Brentwood and I saw this group of people (children, youth and seniors) ready to walk and raise funds for the hungry, I was again ready for it. Today was the first time Brentwood - under the leadership of Patti Bartlebaugh - organized a CWS CROP Hunger Walk. I have seen many, and I can really say this was a very successful one and they can be proud. The Brentwood Community Methodist Church also hosted a sleep over for a bunch of children who had a blast making their own CROP Hunger Walk T-shirts and watched several clips of my blog (how cool is that!). Patti had impressed me already when I met her last week during a CROP Hunger Walk benefit dinner in Pittsburg, but she is really a firecracker who is clearly an example for anyone who is planning to organize a Walk by themselves. The route was also very nice, offering 1- and 3-mile routes passing through the Farmer’s Market, something that is always very appropriate. Anyway, check out Patti for yourself, because she is the star of the video.
YOU CAN STILL DONATE :) as it would really be cool to reach 5,000 dollar by 5pm tomorrow! (i.e. before I fly home) - we are at 4,455 dollar now.
Day 7: For my mom
I walked with Sandhya and Linh to downtown Oakland via Telegraph Road. Sandhya has a great knowledge of the city and has fascinating stories. She’s a very special person. It was also great to have Linh with me as she is the girlfriend of Vy, who has done an amazing job in making this week in the Bay area successful. Now at least she was able to meet the people who kept her boyfriend working so hard :)
The last stretch of my 100 mile walk was an incredible experience as I really had the feeling that many parts of the world were following me. When I posted a pic of the pedometer on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, I almost received realtime “likes.” I didn’t feel pain anymore and I floated from one side of the Golden Gate bridge to the other. After the bridge I finished my 100 mile walk in the Fort Mason Green Park where Matt (who has been incredible the whole week) was ready to do the last shoot of the 100 mile walk. After the interview, I immediately called my wife who had been so supportive from the beginning and with whom I wished I had done the whole walk. It might sound cheesy, but this trip has been so amazing. I was fortunate to meet volunteers, board members, (potential) donors, food bank directors and clients that I wished I could have done it with her. I feel great and I hope trip, blogs and videos will inspire others to do something about hunger and malnutrition as well. I actually would love to walk a 100 mile next year again, but then at the same time with others in places like Amsterdam, Boston, New York, Jakarta, Nairobi and Mendoza. What do you think? Are you up for that? If so, let me know and we can start preparing. I am serious as is our adversary: hunger and malnutrition.
Day 6: Pain
Yesterday afternoon it had been a pretty tough day as after I had left Suzan Bateson, Theon Johnson III, Kate Merk, Charlie Ramsden and Joan Safrita at the Alameda Community County Food Bank, not only did my right shin/ankle started to hurt again, but also both my feet were not cooperating anymore…… I said to myself that many women and girls in Africa need to walk 5-10 miles everyday to collect water. I tried to say to myself that I should not make such a big deal about a “little bit” of pain…., but it didn’t help a lot. I was hardly able to put one foot in front of the other… When I finally reached the Oakland Peace Center, Sandhya Rani Jha was not there, but Allen received me.
While he talked to me, I saw a tall, skinny girl around 11 years old trying to lift up a box of food. I offered to help her, lifted the box for her and before I knew it I was in the middle of a room full of food, talking to Belinda Gilchrist Day. I had felt the pain in my ankle and feet on the stairs bringing me down, but something drew me down to one of the two rooms of the Project Darreis. Belinda told me the story about her son, Darries who was murdered on July 29, 2006. Her son had always been known for his giving, sharing and spreading love. He brought hungry people home and fed them. After a vision (a type of story that I had never heard in the US or Europe, but often in Asia), she decided to honor the memory of her son through a project based on how her son approached life: through giving. Underneath her enormous spirit, you can still feel the pain of the loss of her son and it made me ashamed of complaining about the pain in my shin.