Our Opinion: LU accepts challenge to serve

News Tribune Editorial

Just as walking requires energy, annual fund-raising walks may be reinvigorated by new energy.

Lincoln University this year has signed on as a partner for the annual CROP Walk, to be held in early October. CROP is the acronym for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

LU’s involvement was prompted by an invitation from President Obama to join his Interfaith and Community Service Challenge.

That challenge was accepted by University President Carolyn Mahoney, and the school responded with an 11-page document outlining a range of activities, including CROP Walk partnership.

The event has been held annually in our community for the past four decades and has been hosted, in the recent past, by the Capital Area Interfaith Alliance.

In its acceptance of Obama’s challenge, LU noted its primary goal is “to provide students with the opportunity to continue the dialogue on civic engagement.”

The secondary goal listed is to attract 200 participants from “all spectrums of the community” and raise $50,000.

That would mark a dramatic increase from the numbers cited by LU for the past five years — annual participation ranging from 25-40 participants, with about $20,000 raised annually.

This year’s CROP Walk will begin at 4 p.m. Oct. 9, travel 3.3 miles and conclude at the Capitol. Proceeds will be divided with 25 percent remaining locally and the rest assisting Church World Services to feed needy people worldwide.

The walk is among a number of initiatives Lincoln has been or will be involved in as a result of Obama’s challenge.

And Lincoln is among about 300 universities — including 35 fellow Historically Black Colleges and Universities — that accepted the challenge.

We commend everyone involved in this initiative, from our nation’s president to local organizers and participants.

The challenge exemplifies how community service can energize people locally and radiate worldwide.

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