Browsing Category: 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 / 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

Hal Donaldson, our founder and president, recently traveled to Moore, Okla., to view our efforts and meet tornado survivors. While he was there he filmed this short thank you video for all of you who volunteered, donated, prayed and got your businesses, churches and civic groups involved in our ongoing relief effort.

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Disaster Services / From The Founders / Program Updates

Hurricane Sandy: Yesterday’s News?

Five months after Hurricane Sandy, I toured devastated neighborhoods and talked to survivors. They were thankful for the work of Convoy of Hope and other organizations, but they couldn’t understand why the crisis disappeared from newscasts and newspapers so quickly — when thousands of families are still homeless.

From the street, many homes appear as though they escaped the storm with minimal damage. But upon further inspection, flooding has destroyed foundations, flooring and walls. With tears in their eyes, one homeowner after another told how they had lost all their possessions — and, because they were underinsured, now had nowhere to turn. The reality that many will never return to their homes is setting in.

Many victims are living in hotels or with family members. Children have been uprooted from their schools, and parents have lost their jobs as businesses try to recover.

But, amid the crisis, there are also stories of big-hearted churches and businesses that turned their facilities into warehouses and dormitories.

Because of the generosity of friends like you — and corporate donations of food and supplies — Convoy of Hope established a warehouse in the region to meet ongoing needs. Together we delivered 80 semi-truck loads of food, water and supplies following the disaster.

Thank you for giving hope to victims you will likely never meet — but whose needs are very real. Although the news media has moved on to other stories, it cannot be “yesterday’s news.”

God bless you.

Hal Donaldson, President and Co-Founder of Convoy of Hope 

Follow @haldonaldson on Twitter

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From The Founders