We are highly regarded for our scalable distribution model, Disaster Services teams, six international warehouses and a Mobile Command Center. Consistently, we are among the first to respond to disasters throughout the world. We have helped millions of people in the aftermath of disasters by working with and through churches, businesses, government agencies and other nonprofits.
In 1998, we responded to our first disaster — flooding in Del Rio, Texas, after Tropical Storm Charley. Since then, we have responded to hurricanes, typhoons, ice storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and floods in the United States and throughout the world. Our goal? To give people help and hope in times of great need. Already, we’ve responded to more than 225 disasters and have had the opportunity to bring food, water, ice, emergency supplies and long-term solutions to families reeling from tragedy.
International and domestic disaster responses.
Tractor trailers of food and relief supplies distributed to people facing disaster.
Total volunteer hours.
Disaster response volunteers.
Local church and organization partners.
Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Response Teams constantly monitor developing weather situations, earthquake activity, wildfires and other forms of natural disasters from the team’s Operations Center at our World-Distribution Center in Springfield, Mo. By staying up to date on potential situations we are able to deploy assessment teams and supplies immediately.
Our Disaster Response Team consistently sends assessment teams to the field to gauge our level of response. In many instances our teams are on the ground even before a storm passes. Our assessment teams gather critical information and report that back to our Operations Center where the scope of our response is determined.
Disaster response efforts vary depending on the nature of a disaster but typically consist of rotating response teams in the field and the shipment of loads of disaster relief supplies from our World-Distribution Center. Teams in the field distribute relief supplies to storm survivors, coordinate volunteers and assist in cleanup efforts. Coordination with local, state and federal officials is also an essential part of our disaster response work.
Long after the media’s spotlight has lifted from a disaster area we continue our work for months, sometimes even years. Our goal is not only to be one of the first organizations to respond to a disaster, but also one of the last to leave. In doing so, we bring immediate and long-term relief to those who are suffering.
Nick Wiersma has been on the front lines of numerous disaster responses in places such as: Haiti, Chile, New York, Japan, Oklahoma and the Philippines. He’s clocked countless hours helping others in their time of need yet he’s quick to credit his colleagues and volunteers for their support and dedicated teamwork.
In 2011, we broke ground on the first of 13 disaster-resistant and energy-efficient homes for survivors of the May 2011 EF-5 tornado that left a mile-wide swath through Joplin, Mo. In 2014, another family will have the peace of mind of owning a brand-new, energy-efficient home that is disaster resistant.
Without different colors how amazing could a sunset really be? With just one note would your favorite song sound so sweet?
It’s differences and variations coming together that lead to the wonderful things in our lives. Like the many notes in a song, or a palette of colors in the sky. We believe building bridges across our differences allows us to unite as a force for good, and create amazing things in our world.
As Mother Teresa said, “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”
This week, as part of our framework of compassion series we want you to think about the importance of unity in your life. By doing so, who knows what kind of great things you could be a part of?
In a Latin American classroom, a bright young girl listens intently as her teacher talks about safe water storage and hygiene. She is focused and excited because she knows this information will change her life.
At Convoy of Hope, we know it is education that creates sustainable change, not simply a new water filter.
“We are able to impact so many more people at a higher level with education, as opposed to simply putting a filter in people’s hands,” says Kevin Rose, senior director of International Program Operations.
“Education changes the way they collect and use water every day of their lives.”
To create lifelong habits, we combine the efforts of our Children’s Feeding Initiatives in schools with hygiene education programs to ensure the children get healthy and stay healthy. We ensure that those we serve have the potential to improve their own lives and change their communities.
Each day, we use water without thinking twice about where it’s coming from. We take showers, brush our teeth and drink it straight from the tap. That is a luxury that we have because of where we live. Oftentimes in our travels abroad, specifically during times of disaster, we see that many do not have that same luxury.
This week, we were surprised to see a water issue in our own backyard. Up until Wednesday, a mobile home park in Springfield, Mo. — home of our world distribution center — was without water. It had been shut off and more than 30 families were trying to get by without.
“You can’t go without water,” said Chet Hunter, director of the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management. Hunter reached out to local organizations on Tuesday, including Convoy of Hope, and received supplies less than 16 hours later.
“Working together gives us the ability to reach out to those in need and work seamlessly in a productive environment,” said Hunter. “And that allows us to respond immediately.”
Convoy of Hope delivered two pallets of water to residents for drinking, cooking and hygiene needs. Many families wondered how they were going to get by. Antonio Clay, father of three, said the delivery was a huge blessing. “We’re glad someone is thinking about us,” he said.
While Convoy of Hope responds to disasters all over the world, it’s equally important for us to take time to remember our neighbors during their time of need.
“We are so thankful to have an organization like Convoy of Hope that does great work around the world right here in Springfield to assist our residents,” says City Manager Greg Burris.
In 2014, Convoy of Hope responded to 22 disasters in the U.S. and internationally providing life-saving food, supplies and water.
“Water is essential,” says Chris Dudley, disaster services response director. “Everyone deserves the right to have access to clean water.”
Just a hand up. Sometimes that’s all a person needs to rise out of a poverty and feel like they’ve finally made it. A simple hand up can mean the difference between a success story and a life lived in despair. And that’s what we’re here to help provide: a hand up to families who need it.
Our Women’s Empowerment Initiative began five years ago, and was birthed out of a desire in our hearts to change the circumstances of women who were marginalized in society, with no hope of ever becoming more. Many we saw were homeless, with no job skills or income, and no way to provide food or shelter for their children.
We wanted to help women like Murida, who was forced onto the streets when she could no longer afford her house when her husband left her and their four children. With no income or formal training for employment, she survived on the streets of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She tied a long scarf to herself and around her children at night so they wouldn’t be kidnapped while they slept.
For 14 years she lived this way — but her life, and her children’s lives, have changed now.
Murida was chosen to enter our Ethiopia Micro+ program and was trained on how to make and market “njera,” a staple Ethiopian food. After her training, she was given seed capital to start her business. Today, her children are living in a home, with no threat of being kidnapped when night falls on Addis Ababa.
Because she’s able to provide for herself and she’s running a successful business, Murida couldn’t be happier. “To have someone look me in the eyes and to feel their care,” she says, “I know I am human and worth something.”
“Of an estimated 1.3 billion people living in abject poverty, 70 percent of those are women.” says Kara Edson “That’s unacceptable. We’re helping women break the cycle of poverty.”
On this International Women’s Day, we will continue to provide a hand up to women and families who need it all over the world — because we want every woman to know, like Murida, that they’re worth more than they ever thought.
In honor of International Women’s Day we are giving away this beautiful hand made bracelet engraved with the seven countries where we are striving to change the lives of women. Comment on this blog or share our Facebook post for a chance to win!