Antelope Valley - Desert Valleys United Methodist Churches

"Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World" 

Antelope Valley Crop Walk History


The AV Crop Walk began when Julie Brumana of Church World Service came to the valley and spoke at a few churches.  A small group of people: Becky Maldonado, Suzanne Avila, Rev. Ilse Peetz gathered to organize the first walk.

2008: 1st Walk - Three walkers started it all... Joanne Marshall, Becky Maldonado and Suzanne Avila.

Our first walk was organized on the first Sunday in October.  It started from AV Hospital and we had supporting sponsorship from the Salvation Army. We only had three walkers: Joanne Marshall besides Becky and Suzanne. but many churches were informed and the event got some publicity.

2009: 2nd Walk - A Ten-Fold increase in walkers and approximately $3,000 raised!

30 people were gathered together and we walked from the Unity Church in Palmdale along Ave P to the freeway and back.
Of the $3,000, the 25% ($750) for the AV was divided between Grace Resources and the Lancaster Homeless Shelter
We raised our business sponsorships to our local organization: "Friends of Crop" which paid for our expenses and allowed us to add a few little gifts to the walkers. We started to sell CROP t-shirts.

2010: 3rd Walk - A 30% Increase in walkers and 63% increase in funds raised...

On Oct. 23, 40 walkers from 9 churches started at Lancaster United Methodist Church and raised $4,911.82
The Lancaster UMC Praise Band sent us off with rousing singing and prayer along a route that went along Ave. J to 15th Street West, south to Ave J-8 and the north on 10 St.W., back to the church on on Ave. J.
Of the $3,000, the 25% ($750) for the AV was divided between Grace Resources and the Lancaster Homeless Shelter

2011: 4th Walk - 54 walkers from 8 churches...

On Oct. 1, 54 walkers from 8 churches started at the Palmdale United Methodist Church and went north along 10th St.W to the back side of mall. The total raised was:$5,163.
Grace Resources, who now also administered the Lancaster Shelter, received the total 25% of $1,290.75 

2012: 5th Walk - Change of date: 2nd Saturday of October, next to WORLD FOOD DAY - Oct. 16

Starting at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, on Lancaster Blvd. in Lancaster, 35 walkers went across town to Sierra Hwy and back. The Boy Scouts helped walkers at street crossings. Total raised: $5,397.
Grace Resources received a giant check for $1,349 and we had great press coverage from the AV Press.

2013: 6th Walk - Participation grows to 11 Churches:
On Oct. 12, 50 walkers passed by SAVES, South Antelope Valley Emergency Services in Palmdale (1002 East Avenue Q-12) which was added to Grace Resources receiving 1/2 each of the 25% local grant.
Our Business sponsorship category had a new high with $500 from Trivent Financial.
The walk raised : $5,855 so SAVES and GRACE Resources each received $731.88

2014: 7th Walk - Westside gets 83 walkers and 13 churches on walk ...a 66% increase in walkers!!! 
Christ our Savior UMC hosted the walk on Oct. 11 which was strongly supported by Fr. Serra Parish.
The walk route went south on 50th, west on L-8 to 60th, north past Fr. Serra Parish to Ave. M, then east back to Christ our Savior UMC. 

The walk raised $5,891. St.Vincent de Paul was added to the 25% recipients which received $490.92 each. Trident Financial donated $1,000 with $333.34 going directly to each of the three honored organizations.

2015: 8th Walk - New high total of $7,484.19  -  100+ people walked!!!!!
Christ Our Savior UMC worked with the First Christian Church and strong support from Fr. Serra Parish to bring together our biggest walk yet!
100+ people walked and we had the pleasure of including 40 youth from the now Saint Serra Parish.
10 churches participated and $6,484.19 was raised with online donations possibly amounting to $1,000!  
25% - $1,871.05 going to our honored local organization: Grace Resources.
Meetings throughout the Valley were held and Julie Brumana of CWS returned to speak to us on: "What is CROP Hunger Walk all about?"
A Facebook page at "Antelope Valley Crop Walk" was added along with periodic educational email messages to the recruiters. We participated in a webinar instruction event. 
On Oct. 10 we set out on a duplicate of the walk route we used in 2014, "Two Degree" nutritious bars (sponsored by CWS) were sold to energize the walkers and raise additional funds.
Bread for the World, an organization that lobbies congress, sent us various prayers to carry focused on individuals in poverty around the world to carry and pray as we walked. 

2016:  NEXT YEAR....  A Downtown LANCASTER WALK!!!!

         Save the date,  Oct. 8, 2016  at Lancaster United Methodist Church!

             First planning meeting: January 26,2016.



Personal Remembrances
of starting the AV CROP Walk
by Rev. Ilse Peetz


AV CROP Hunger Walk began in 2008 with Becky Maldonado, Suzanne Avila and Ilse Peetz.

Becky had a mission position in Palmdale United Methodist Church. Ilse asked her and about the idea and Becky thought it was a great idea, so Pastor Ilse asked her to coordinate the walk and she said "Yes!".

Suzanne then joined the team and became a great help as we started planning the walk.
Rev. Nancy Oristaglio of Unity Church of AV advised us and we held the organizing meetings at Lancaster United Methodist Church. 

Pastor Fuller of Our Savior's Lutheran Church and Rev. Nancy Brown of St. Paul's Episcopal Church joined in with support and Julie Brumana, CWS Regional Dir. was helpful to us all with support, prayers and great insights.

In September, we held the first, public invited Information Meetings at Unity Church in September and we were on our way!

On the first Sunday afternoon in October, 3 people walked: Becky and Suzanne and Joann Marshall of Lancaster United Methodist Church.  

he Salvation Army gave much support.  Mulligan Family Fun Center donated a few gifts, William Edwards Photography donated two certificates for sittings, that walkers could win.

Grace Resources and the homeless shelter became the recipients of our local 25%. Lanc. Presbyterian Church had donated water for rest stops.

The walk, which had only the three walkers, was a great success with balloons filled with helium donated by Balloon Factory, T-shirts for sale, lots of donated food, Church World Service educational interaction and a great group of walkers.


The next year, 2009, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf donated a gift bag and t
hanks to Pastor Barry Vail, we added SAVES (South Antelope Valley Emergency Services) to the 25% recipients.

So now we had Grace Resources, a valley wide homeless charity, the Lancaster Homeless Shelter in Lancaster and SAVES, in Palmdale. That year, SAVES hosted a rest stop in front of their door.

Rev. Janet Helms was very helpful in writing articles for the Valley Press. Jerry Price at the AV Press gave us great coverage. 


A marvellous thing happened in 2014. No church having volunteered to host the walk, I sent a HELP! email to all participating churches.  Rev. Tom Hower of Christ Our Savior UMC in Quartz Hill volunteered. Fr. Leo Duchand of Fr. Serra Parish opened his office to us and introduced us to Rose Sedillo, who is a jewel and immediately stepped in.
Christ Our Savior and Fr. Serra Parish had a joint food program and so it was a natural extension of their partnership.
God fulfilled a dream of another year!

In 2015, COSUMC continued their hosting, wanting to build on the success of the previous year.  The congregation became very active under the new Pastor Ken Gardner. 

The youth from Fr. Serra became very excited during the year about the walk and filled a big jar with pennies.

A special blessing was that in addition to the funds raise before and on walk day, retired Rev. Janet Helms called to announce, that another check of more than $500 is in the mail to the walk treasurer!