CROP Hunger Walk

Earlier this year, I volunteered my way into a two-day training event related to my day job. While there I met another volunteer who noticed how good I was at organizing the tables and handling last minute issues. When I told her I like doing this kind of thing: setting up tables, stuffing packets, getting people to the right classrooms, etc, she said she had the job for me and would be in touch.

A few months later, I am now helping her and a team of volunteers organize the 2014 Austin CROP Hunger Walk. CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty. CROP hunger walks are community fundraising events sponsored by Church World Service, and international relief, development, and refugee resettlement agency. More information can be found at

It’s exciting to me to see everything that goes into organizing a race or walk and even more exciting to meet the people I met in the kick off meeting. Bill Renfro led the meeting and is the founding member of CROP walk. He also, with the help of Martha Loer founded the Capital Area Food Bank. Martha also designed the food banks logo. In a sea of Church of Christ and Lutheran church representatives I got to meet the new Assistant Field Director for the Lousiana and Texas region, Rev. Susan Lassalle, a disciple! She literally just got into town and is on the look out for a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to call her new church home. What a lovely lady to chat with.


The Sam’s Workout

We buy groceries once a month, a third of which is bulk products from Sam’s Club. It’s easiest for me to do the Sam’s Club run on my lunch break so I tend to go into turbo mode. It’s a 15 minute drive from my office, and I usually have to stop at the credit union too (or Target or a gas station), which limits my shopping time to 30 minutes at the most.

Why would this be a workout exactly?

The “we need this every month” list:

  • Gatoraide (24 pack of 20oz. bottles)
  • Water (48 pack of 8oz. bottles)
  • Dr. Pepper (32 flat of 12oz. cans)
  • OJ (2 pack of 59oz. bottles)
  • Milk (2 gallons)
  • Apple Juice (2 2packs of 96oz. bottles)
  • Cereal (2 pack)
  • Diapers (148 count)
  • Wipes (768 count)

The “annual rotation” of needed supplies list:

  • Toilet paper (45 rolls; we buy every three months)
  • Kleenex (8 pack; we buy every two months)
  • Cascade (85 count; we buy every six months)
  • Garbage bags (33 gal 120 count; 13 gal 180 count; we buy once a year)
  • Paper towels (18 count; we buy every three months)

By the time I’ve picked up the drinks I’m easily pushing 50 lbs around in a cart at a safe but fast walking speed. Then there’s all the lifting involved too. The Dr. Pepper is usually stacked 4-5 feet off the ground and they prefer you place as many items as you can on the conveyor belt when checking out.

Then there’s the long haul back to the car, up a steep heel all the way at this particular location, then loading up the car too. I feel the burn after one of these workouts!

Interested in buying in bulk? I started out by setting aside $10-$20 each month and started a rotation. I would buy garbage bags one month, then toilet paper the next month, then Kleenex the next, and so on. It’s very rare that we need all of these items during the same month.

After that I started looking at what we were using the most. Milk is the real deal for sure. We were going through a gallon of milk a week. The Sam’s Club location I go to sold gallons of milk for $.50 cents cheaper than our local grocery store so I pick up 2 gallons every 2 weeks. The $2 I save on milk for the month more than takes care of the gas driving to the Sam’s.

Another big hit, my oldest takes a daily regimen of Claritin (and yes it had to be the name brand in his case) to keep his allergies and asthma at bay. I was shelling out $40 every month to Walgreens – at Sam’s Club I get a 40 day supply for $27. 

North Run Photos

This is the final segment in my photography project. The North side of my office is unknown territory, so again I was worried I would not find five interesting things along the way. But as it turned out I did find a few…

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Artwork on the side of a shop

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The other side of the Austin State Hospital Cemetery. An interesting fact about this place…see the handful of grave stones? It’s an odd illusion – the cemetery is nearly to capacity; the bulk of the grave stones are merely flat slabs of concrete impressed with the patient’s ID number that can not be seen from the road. The maintenance department has spent years researching patient records to tie names to each one.

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Most of the North side was a subdivision but two homes had out of the ordinary vehicles parked on the street.


Some may call it a storm drain but I prefer to look at it as a creek bed.

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Day Spring Chapel

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I loved this statue outside the Fonda San Miguel restaurant.

From completing these runs outside my usual territory I’ve learned why I love my usual running routes so much – it’s shady. All the other routes were in broad sunlight and either flat or consisted of one giant hill. Still, I did enjoy the change in scenery.