NEW YORK - For the third year in a row, Maurice Bloem is embarking on a 100-mile walk aimed at raising awareness and money to fight hunger in the United States and around the world.
The humanitarian assistance executive will walk through Michigan, Indiana and Illinois for six days this summer (June 15 – 20). Bloem is executive vice president for New York- headquartered global humanitarian agency CWS. He led the agency’s response to the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as the then-director of the agency’s Indonesia office.
The ambitious walk is an expression of his passion for raising awareness about hunger, food, nutrition and poverty in the world. With “Women’s Empowerment” as the theme for this year’s walk, Bloem honors his mother, who will turn 85 this July, and the millions of women around the world who struggle each day to feed their families.
A new feature of Bloem’s walk is his invitation to women to post brief videos on his blog, in which they respond to the question “What does women's empowerment mean to you?”
“I am very inspired by the video clips women have posted on the blog so far. I hope that many others also will share their thoughts about women’s empowerment,” Bloem says.
Expressing his delight about having an opportunity to raise money with the help of contributions from people who support the idea of eliminating hunger and empowering women, Bloem explains that “every dollar that donors contribute to support my walk helps my organization, CWS, fund the programs that make it possible for vulnerable families and communities to develop sustainable ways of providing good nutrition for their families.”
A native of The Netherlands, Bloem says he is very impressed with volunteerism in the United States. “The U.S. type of volunteerism is rather new to me but I am ready to take on this challenge because I so strongly believe in this cause. So many people here in the U.S. put forth so much time and money to support causes that help others and that help change the world. I am absolutely in awe and I want to be a part of that.”
CWS sponsors CROP Hunger Walks organized by volunteers in more than 1,800 communities throughout the United States. The multi-cultural events help fund CWS programs to end hunger locally and abroad.
“An important part of my walk will be to let people know about the thousands of volunteers who turn out each year to organize and participate in the fundraising that is at the heart of CWS CROP Hunger Walks. I hope people will not just donate money to my walk but also come out to join me as I make the trek through three states,” Bloem says.
Bloem’s fundraising goal for his 100-Mile Walk is $10,000. People who want to support his effort to help end hunger can donate money and follow the walk via social media at the hashtag #hunger100 and on his blog at http://mauricebloem100milehungerwalk.tumblr.com/.
The walk will begin at Third Reformed Church in Holland, Mich. and end at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Ill.