Most readers know that supporting the annual New Carlisle 5K CROP Hunger Walk helps Bethel Churches United keep food on the shelves and available for distribution at the BCU Food Pantry. It’s heart-warming to know that CROP donations also help desperately unhealthy poor folks in developing countries.

This year’s CROP Hunger Walk theme focuses on Vietnam and our ongoing work to bring awareness to the link of hygiene, disease and hunger. Using CROP Walk donations, the Church World Service Team in Vietnam last year enabled more than 7,000 people to have sanitary latrines! This work is made possible because you walk! Raising as little as $100 provides a household in Vietnam with a sanitary latrine.

More than 20 million people in Vietnam do not have access to sanitary toilets. This is more prevalent among ethnic minorities. The practice of open defecation, like not properly washing hands, leads to illnesses and having to miss work or school. Estimates are that Vietnam loses $780 million annually in worker productivity and healthcare spending because of this problem. In 2016, CWS’s Community-Led Total Sanitation model enabled more than 7,000 people to have sanitary latrines. In 2015 and 2016, CWS distributed 13,000 informational hand fans (likely reaching more than 50,000 people).

Your walking or sponsorship helps to promote hygiene by helping missionaries educate the Vietnamese about the importance of washing our hands. In a lot of places around the world, moms and dads don’t know about how important handwashing is. So through missionaries we help give out hand fans that have lots of information about washing your hands to Vietnamese kids when they are in school. They can then go home and teach their parents, brothers and sisters about why hand washing is so important. Did you know that this helps end hunger? When moms, dads and kids are washing their hands, they are cleaner and healthier, just like you are when you wash yours! That means that they don’t have to stay home sick from school or work or go to the doctor. Whether here or in Vietnam, when moms and dads can go to work, they can earn money to buy food for their families, or they can work in their garden to make their own food. Grown-ups and kids are going to walk in the 5K CROP Hunger Walk again this year, and this year we’re walking for our brothers and sisters around the whole world who need this information so they can be healthy and have enough food.

Online donations are welcomed at www.crophungerwalk.org/newcarlisleoh.