Hunger is an issue that can hit close to home. Because hunger exists in local places, area residents are asked to join their neighbors in the John H. Ware IV Memorial Hunger Help Walk, set for Sunday, Oct. 21.
The walk is sponsored by the Oxford Area Civic Association and the Oxford Area Ministerium. The walk, which began in 2015, is named for philanthropist John H. Ware IV, whose family was instrumental in founding the civic association.
The Hunger Help Walk will begin at the Lighthouse Youth Center (LYC), located at 245 Commerce St., Oxford. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m., with the walk starting at 1:30 p.m.
The event will take place rain or shine, with walkers using the LYC's gymnasiums in the event of bad weather.
There are two distance options: a 1-mile walk and a 3-mile walk. The 1-mile walk will be a large loop around the LYC property, while the 3-mile walk will be from the LYC to Waterway Road and back. People may bring their leashed dogs and/or strollers for the relaxing, fun event.
At the conclusion of the walk, there will be snacks and a time for fellowship at the LYC. Typically, more than 100 people participate in the walk.
The Hunger Help Walk is supported by area churches, businesses and community groups such as the Oxford Women's Club.
Many local churches have placed notices about the Hunger Help Walk in their weekly newsletters and have sponsorship packets available for those who would like to register in advance and obtain pledges from supporters. Same-day registrations will also be accepted.
"The ministerium is always very excited and honored to be helping the community in this way," said Mark Terry, ministerium president and pastor of Oxford United Methodist Church. "It's always a great treat to see so many people from the community come out and walk that afternoon."
Proceeds from the walk will benefit the food programs of the Church of God Divine Sent Food Cupboard, the LYC and the Oxford Neighborhood Services Center.
Last year the Lighthouse Youth Center provided an average of 60 meals a day to youngsters, serving more than 14,000 meals a year. Students visiting the LYC can get an afternoon snack at 2:30 p.m. as well as supper at 5 p.m. To provide these meals, the LYC budgets $5,000 for snacks and $25,000 for evening meals, bringing the food budget to $30,000 annually.
Last year, the Hunger Help Walk raised $17,000 for the three beneficiaries, topping the goal of $15,000. This year, the hope is to again raise $17,000.
For more information or to receive a sponsorship packet in advance, readers may contact Buzz Tyson, LYC director, at 484-880-2018 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available from Tara Eggers at 610-842-2393 or email@example.com.