Long-Term Hope: Convoy of Hope Community Event Connections

What started with one pick-up truck filled with groceries and a desire to serve families in need has transformed into hundreds of Convoy of Hope Community Events that have taken place across the nation. 

Over the past 25 years, Convoy of Hope has served more than 2 million Guests of Honor at more than 1,200 Community Events. Guests of Honor have their immediate needs met with bags of groceries or a new pair of shoes, but we don’t stop there. We also provide them with long-term solutions that can help them thrive. We do that by connecting them to job and career services, community services, health services, veterans services, or other organizations, such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The desired outcome for each event is to provide sustainable solutions that help address the deeper-rooted issues and concerns in a community. Our “one-stop shop” connects them with the opportunities they need to help them get to the next step and see the possibilities they couldn’t before. 

We like to say Guests of Honor receive a “hand up,” not a handout, at a Community Event. 

Take Tomasa. She attended a Community Event we held in Fort Worth in 2017 and picked up a Garden in a Bag, which contained vegetable and flower seeds. She planted the seeds and now has a flourishing garden that takes over part of her backyard. Tomasa came back to the Fort Worth Community Event in 2019 to get more seeds and to see how she could start a community garden in her neighborhood.

Or take Darcy. She’s an unemployed single mom with three children living at home. She attended the Fort Worth event this year and went straight to the Job and Career Services tent. There, she found an organization that would pay for her to go back to school to get her license as a certified nursing assistant. She signed up for school and filled out an application for a job. She left feeling excited about what her future holds. 

These are just two examples of what Community Events are all about. Guests of Honor leave with a sense of empowerment and the ability to move beyond obstacles and tough circumstances in their life. 

To learn more about Community Events, visit convoyofhope.org/communityevents.

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Community Outreach

End of Year Smart Giving

As 2019 winds down, we at Convoy of Hope trust that you are having a wonderful holiday season. This year, we’ve had the honor of serving thousands upon thousands of people on your behalf.

As one of our supporters, here are a few “smart” ways you can continue partnering with us if you’re looking for end-of-year giving opportunities.

RoundUp – Use this app to “round up” your purchases, donating a few cents each time you make a transaction. It might not seem like a lot, but your donation will go a long way and we’re thankful for every penny.

Alexa – If you use any Alexa-enabled device, simply say, “Alexa, make a donation to Convoy of Hope,” and she will help you donate any amount using your Amazon Pay account.

PayPal, Amazon Pay & Apple Pay – Convoy of Hope is an option for giving on each of these platforms.

Amazon Smile – By selecting Convoy of Hope in your Amazon Smile profile, a portion of every purchase you make helps us serve those in need.

Thank you for your support in 2019. It’s only because of you that we can serve those in need.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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News

Planes, Trains, and Semi Trucks: The Convoy of Hope team that really delivers

Twenty-five years ago, Convoy of Hope was just a few people with a desire to help others and a pickup truck full of groceries. Today, Convoy of Hope’s famous semitrailers drive hundreds of thousands of miles across the country each year, and we ship food and supplies to more than a dozen countries around the world. Growth like that takes a lot of heart, faith, and hard work by our Supply Chain team.

In the early days of Convoy of Hope, we didn’t know a lot about managing and coordinating facility operations and supplies. We had to learn as we went. We learned how to manage 10,000 square feet of leased warehouse space and a few trucks. When we moved into our 300,000 square foot World Distribution Center, we found ourselves in a whole new playing field.

We continued to learn, and the team grew. Our original crew of one or two people has grown into our current Supply Chain team of 21. They take care of the food, water, and supplies we give out and make sure it all gets to people in need. 

This year, Ginger attended a Convoy of Hope Community Event in Cleveland, Ohio. She went because she needed shoes for her children, but found so much more. “If you have a need for one thing, probably you have a need for two or three other things,” Ginger said. “I really appreciate it.” Those shoes and groceries would never have made it to Ginger and her family without the help of the Supply Chain staff who acquired the goods, packaged them, and delivered them to Cleveland.

Thanks to incredible partners and supporters, Convoy of Hope is bringing in and sending out more product than ever before. In the last 10 years, our yearly Gift-in-Kind (GIK) has increased by nearly $100 million. 

Over the years, our Supply Chain team has fine-tuned their processes and implemented new systems to increase efficiency and make it possible to serve more and more people. They’ve even received awards for their work, such as High Jump’s Customer Innovation Award for Stand-Out Business Benefits in 2018.

Convoy of Hope has served millions of people in the last 25 years and distributed more than $1 billion worth of food and supplies. That would never have been possible without the incredible men and women who work each day to make sure the hope our partners and supporters provide gets to the people who need it most. 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Staff Spotlight

Hope for the Holidays

As 2019 comes to a close, families around the world are preparing for the upcoming holiday season. For many of the 200,000 children in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, the hope found in a warm bowl of food each day may be the only gift they receive. The support they receive from supporters like you is what makes the holidays so special.

Nine-year-old Olvin is one of the 11,000 children whom Convoy feeds in Honduras. When he’s not caring for his chickens or attending classes, he is most likely playing soccer with his friends. But the thing he loves most about going to school?

“The food is good!” Olvin says. “Sometimes they give us soup. They give us rice and eggs, too.”

Through Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, Olvin receives the nutritious meals he needs to stay healthy and focused. Since starting the program in Honduras in 2011, Convoy of Hope has partnered with more than 100 Honduran communities.

While many are preparing shopping lists and putting up Christmas trees, Olvin’s family is looking forward to their own holiday traditions.

Olvin lives at home with his parents and two younger brothers. His father works long hours, and his mother, Ivania, runs a small business that Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program helped her start. For them, the added support they receive from Convoy has been the glimmer of hope they desperately needed.

“Normally, we can’t give the kids gifts for Christmas,” says Ivania. “But this year, we will be able to give them gifts.”

Like many families, Olvin’s is looking forward to the Christmas season, because everyone is together and they attend church as a family. Ivania loves to prepare the holiday menu, which includes chicken, rice, potatoes, and bread.

“This year is going to be different from other years, though,” Ivania says. “This year, they will get new clothes for Christmas, and I can add a little something to the menu.”

As Convoy of Hope looks back on the last 25 years, we are humbled to be a part of empowering so many families and their communities. While many will struggle to keep food on the table this holiday season, Convoy of Hope continues to fight for the poor and suffering in hopes that families everywhere can “add a little something to the menu.”

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding

Dedicated to Honoring Veterans

An elderly man approached the Veterans Services area at a recent Convoy of Hope Community Event. As he spoke with one of our volunteers, he shared that he had been a part of the Army National Guard for 34 years but had never been enrolled in VA care. The volunteer sat him down, assisted him with filling out the necessary paperwork, and helped him turn it in for processing. This veteran will now receive the assistance he needs for his heath, vision, and hearing.

Convoy of Hope believes the sacrifice of veterans should be honored. That’s why we dedicate an area for veterans and their families at most every Community Event we hold. We pair every veteran or veteran family member with a guide who provides one-on-one assistance and makes sure the guest connects with the services they need. Below is list of organizations that help make our Veterans Services area a success:

American Legion Red Cross Veterans
Community College Training Programs (Grant Recipients) Regional Veterans Service Officers
College VA Services Supportive Services for Veterans’ Families
DAV USO
Elks V.A. Homeless Housing
Existing Stand Downs V.A. Medical Services (including mobile units)
Goodwill Veterans Job & Career Assistance V.A. Re-Invigoration Programs
Hiring Our Heroes Vet Center
HUD VFW
Local Career Centers – V.A. Rep Warriors Journey
Local Veterans Organizations & Charities Best Serving Veterans

We are thankful for the role veterans play in communities all over the United States, and we recognize their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day.

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Community Outreach / Field Story / Volunteering