Browsing Category: From the Founders

Meals From the Heartland meals in Convoy of Hope's warehouse in the Philippines. Meals From the Heartland meals in Convoy of Hope's warehouse in the Philippines.

Partnerships make all the difference

There have been countless times since Convoy of Hope was founded that I was reminded of the importance of friends and partners, like you, who help us serve those who are hurting. When we held our first official outreach in California in 1994 we had the helping hands of dozens of volunteers. Just a few weeks ago, when we partnered with the U.S. State Department in El Salvador to help impoverished women, we were reminded once again of the power of collaboration and partnerships.

Late last year I traveled to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan and witnessed the strength of partnerships between our Disaster Services team and numerous in-country churches, agencies and organizations. By working together we are stronger and able to help more people. In the Philippines that meant thousands of storm survivors were given help and hope during some of their most desperate hours.

In Ethiopia, Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program is thriving and growing — with the support of in-country partners. Today, thanks to those partnerships, women are learning the skills to run their own businesses and provide for their families.

Our Children’s Feeding Initiative is currently in 11 nations and caring for more than 145,000 children. That is possible, in part, because of the generous support of our feeding partners here in the United States. I’ve met children around the world who are being nourished because of the key, strategic relationships we have with a myriad of partners who want to help lift children and families out of malnutrition and hunger.

Partnerships with organizations, businesses and governments are critical to Convoy of Hope’s mission. But just as important is our partnership with the many individuals, like you, who have joined us in our passion to help the impoverished and suffering. Thank you for your support!

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From the Founders

When I was 2 years old, my dad, Hal Donaldson, and his brothers founded Convoy of Hope. Since then, Convoy has grown significantly and yet its foundation and core values have remained unchanged. For as long as I can remember, my parents instilled in my sisters and me the importance of demonstrating kindness, practicing generosity and serving those in need. Learning this at an early age has shaped us into the young women we are today. It has given us an understanding that Convoy of Hope is not what we are, but rather who we are as a family—the very core and mission of our daily lives.

Whether volunteering in the warehouse, distributing groceries at a community outreach, or traveling internationally, taking part in the work of Convoy of Hope has shown me what it means to put compassion into action. Every person I’ve encountered, every warm embrace I’ve shared and every tear shed while serving has helped to transform my life.

Even though poverty and malnutrition continue to threaten our global community, we cannot allow these harsh realities to paralyze us and deter us from action. Rather, we must offer lasting hope to those in desperate need of love and care.

As Convoy of Hope celebrates its 20th year anniversary, I am reminded that the organization has grown beyond its humble beginnings. Today it is a part of a global movement that is helping millions of people each year.

On behalf of my family—and all those who work so diligently—I want to thank you for partnering with us and believing in the mission of Convoy of Hope. Together, we can change the world one life at a time.

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From the Founders

Fueled by Compassion

In September, 2013, I traveled to Lyons, Colo., to visit some of the areas where Convoy of Hope had been helping flood survivors rebuild their lives. The unprecedented flooding in Colorado displaced thousands of people and damaged as many homes and businesses.

Meeting with volunteers and survivors touched my heart and reminded me, once again, how important the work is we do at Convoy of Hope. I met a woman named Rhonda in Lyons whose home and belongings had been severely damaged by the floodwaters. I stood with her outside her damaged home and she encouraged me with her determination and heart of gratitude. She was thankful we were there, but in her own right she was relentlessly determined to bounce back from devastation.

Her spirit and determination reminded me to be thankful for what I have and the importance of taking responsibility to meet needs. That’s why we’re working together to meet the needs of survivors like Rhonda as well as children and families around the world. Our work is fueled by compassion – thanks to you!

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From the Founders

Hal Donaldson urges politicians to practice a year of kindness

In the video above, our co-founder and CEO delivers his speech to Missouri Lawmakers at the recent 2014 Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.

The following is an excerpt from a story at News-Leader.com by Jonathan Shorman. 

Convoy of Hope founder Hal Donaldson this morning urged a gathering of Missouri’s most powerful to practice a year of kindness.

Donaldson, president of the Springfield-based charity, gave the keynote address at the annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, a bipartisan event attended by hundreds of people and top names in Missouri leadership.

“If we will collectively dedicate ourselves to a lifestyle of kindness and compassion, 2014 can be a defining moment for our state and our nation, and in turn many of the problems that we face — those problems will begin to fade,” Donaldson said. “Friend, a year of kindness and compassion can absolutely change everything.”

Donaldson recounted how, as a child in 1969, his father had been killed by a drunk driver and mother seriously injured. The family who took him in for several months afterward changed his life forever. Donaldson said without their kindness, Convoy of Hope would never have happened.

Read the full story at News-Leader.com

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From the Founders / In the News

Remembering Watts

One of Convoy of Hope’s first community outreaches took place in Watts, Calif., in 1995. That day, thousands of honored guests gathered to receive groceries and to hear local musicians perform on a makeshift stage.

Tears came to my eyes that day as I watched hurting families descend on a neighborhood park—just so they could have something to eat. I stood at the entrance and welcomed guests … and listened to their stories. I was struck by the reality that these families were not homeless or unemployed. Instead they worked full-time jobs and ensured their children attended school.

That day our eyes were opened to the plight of working poor families, who typically don’t have access to many social services. They struggle each week to put food on the table and clothing on their children. Day-to-day they don’t know if they’ll have enough gas to get to work or enough soap to do their laundry.

For nearly 20 years now, Convoy of Hope has served these families by providing groceries, medical and dental screenings, job fairs, haircuts, shoes, clothing, and more. In the last few years we have added family portraits, and, through a partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, began providing free screenings and mammograms.

To date, hundreds of thousands of guests across the United States and Europe have received much-needed help through the united efforts of churches, businesses, civic organizations and local government. And hundreds of thousands of volunteers have given of their time to distribute millions of dollars in assistance. Together they have put smiles on the faces of families who just needed to know someone cares.

But please know none of this would have been possible without friends like you who have given faithfully so others can receive real help and experience God’s love. Thank you for caring and giving.

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Community Outreach / From the Founders