How is CWS unique?
We don't try to go it alone. Rather, we strive to work in genuine partnership both in the U.S. and around the world – giving and receiving, learning and teaching, listening and suggesting, accompanying one another on the challenging journey to a better tomorrow.
Our priorities come from the grassroots. With partners, we ask, "What are your strengths, your needs, and the right tools for you and the people with whom you work?"
CWS works holistically: While providing material assistance, we also work with partners to address the root causes of hunger, poverty and injustice – raising awareness of and advocating on related issues.
Is my communion a member of CWS?
People from all faiths and no faith help to support the work of CWS. Find a list of member communions here. One example may be found in CROP Hunger Walks, which are interfaith community events. There are some 1,500 CROP Hunger Walks in the U.S. each year that are locally organized and led, with leaders and participants from across the faith spectrum — Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Southern Baptist, Pentecostal, B'hai, Hindu, as well as Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox.
Globally, CWS works without regard to the religious affiliation or creed of people in need.
How does CWS respond in an emergency?
When disaster strikes, CWS is there in partnership, supporting the work of those on the scene to provide shelter, food — whatever is necessary for people to survive. CWS is also there long after the headlines have faded, helping families and communities to rebuild — and look for lasting solutions.
CWS is also a leader in conducting emergency preparedness training for local agencies, both governmental and non-governmental.
What percentage of my dollar actually goes toward program? What is CWS's overhead?
In FY 2011, just 13.3 cents of every CWS dollar went for overhead – 3.7 percent for administration and 9.6 percent for fundraising and information.
How good is that? Well, generally agreed upon guidelines for nonprofits require that fundraising costs not exceed 35 percent of contributions, and that total fundraising and administration costs not exceed 50 percent of total income. It's also required by the National Charities Information Bureau that organizations spend at least 60 percent of annual expenses for program activities.
When was CWS founded?
CWS was born in the aftermath of World War II in 1946. A number of denominations came together to form an agency "to do together what none of us could hope to do as well alone." Their mission was clear: Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless. Over 65 years later the mission remains, though where and how we accomplish it has changed.
How are CROP Hunger Walks and the Blankets+ Program related to CWS?
CROP Hunger Walks, the Blankets+ Program, and CWS Kits are just some of the many ways people can help their neighbors in need through CWS. CROP Hunger Walks are sponsored by CWS and by local groups in some 1,500 communities across the U.S. CROP Hunger Walks are interfaith community events, involving people from all walks of life, to help CWS end hunger. The first CROP Hunger Walk is thought to have been held in Bismarck, N.D., in 1969.
I'd like to volunteer. Are there ways I can help?
Yes, many ways! If you're in the U.S., be a part of the leadership team of your local CROP Hunger Walk, or serve as a recruiter in your congregation or organization; maybe you could staff a rest stop on Walk day, or volunteer to work the sign-up desk.
In communities served by a local CWS refugee resettlement affiliate, congregations can welcome a refugee family, helping to ensure that the newcomers have the material and social support they need to quickly become self-sufficient. If there's no affiliate office near you, your congregation can partner with a welcoming congregation.
Contact your nearest CWS/CROP regional office toll-free at 1-888-CWS-CROP (that's 1-888-297-2767) to find out where and how to help in your area.