Two Springfield-based charities have earned top ratings by Charity Navigator, which bills itself as the nation’s largest independent charity evaluator.
Ozarks Food Harvest and Convoy of Hope both received four stars, the watchdog organization’s highest score.
Jeff Nene, national spokesman for Convoy of Hope, praised the organization’s high standards.
“Charity Navigator has changed and tightened up their standards in a good way through the years,” said Nene. “I think they are looking at all the right things: financial transparency, financial integrity and the big thing — that you do what you say you are going to do.”
Nene said 2015 was the 12th consecutive year Convoy of Hope earned four stars from Charity Navigator. Convoy of Hope has not yet been evaluated in 2016.
We’re so grateful for the amazing response of our friends around the world to bring hope to the people of Nepal. Here are 5 simple ways you can help elevate Nepal.
1. Stay Informed
Nepal is nestled between China and India, surrounded by the majestic Himalayan Mountains. Being isolated from the rest of the world, it is often overlooked and forgotten.
What many people don’t know is that Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia. An earthquake of this magnitude crumbled their delicate infrastructure and will hinder cultural advancement. Stay informed on our response here.
2. Share Their Story
Many have begun to show their support for Nepal survivors by posting their own creative content to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We’ve put together a graphic to help you get you in on spreading hope using #ElevateNepal.
Click on the image below and save it to your phone. Then ask a friend to snap a picture of you showing your support.
You can say something like:
“The people of Nepal have lost so much in this earthquake but together we can #ElevateNepal! Get involved with @ConvoyofHope and check out fundraise.convoyofhope.org/elevatenepal”
Or if you’re a tweeter:
“Join me in helping survivors of the Nepal earthquake. Partner w/ @ConvoyofHope fundraise.convoyofhope.org/elevatenepal #ElevateNepal”
3. Donate to Convoy of Hope
Everyone can play a part in elevating Nepal. Donate what’s possible and remember even a $10 goes a long ways.
4. Pray for the Nepalese
Pray for protection and encouragement into the lives of the Nepalese and those responding to this crisis. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
5. Join Together with Friends
The elevation begins with you! Take it upon yourself to make a lasting impact on the people of Nepal.
Sign up to fundraise. Invite friends, family, and coworkers to get in on the action with personal messages. Share the graphics and the resilience of the Nepalese people. Together Nepal will rise again!
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.”
In April, 19-year-old Sarah Bryhan traveled to Haiti with a Convoy of Hope Compassion Team. Sarah and fellow students from Bellevue Christian Center in Nebraska served in a variety of roles during their time which included working with children, packing food at the warehouse and planting trees.
Deforestation is a major issue in Haiti, so part of the group’s goal was to work on a large scale reforestation project. Sarah was drawn to this project and quickly developed a heart for Haiti and the people she served.
Just days after she returned home from her trip, Sarah was killed in a car accident. Because of her passion for Haiti, her family and friends came together to set up a memorial fund that will allow Convoy of Hope to continue to plant more trees.
“When she got back from Haiti, she had such a bright face and big eyes when she talked about her work there,” says Serina Bullington, Sarah’s mother. “We felt a great way to honor Sarah would be to raise money to plant fruit trees for future Haitian generations.”
They have already raised more than $6,900, which will allow future teams to not only plant fruit trees during future trips, but also honor Sarah’s memory. Sarah’s parents plan to visit Haiti in 2015.
As thousands of Guests of Honor lined up to attend one of Convoy of Hope’s Signature Community Events in Frederick, Md., an older gentleman sat on the grass, leaned up against his old backpack.
His name was Christopher and he seemed to be in pain.
“My leg was broken when I was hit by a car three years ago, but it still hurts to stand for long periods of time,” Christopher told a volunteer who had stopped to check on him.
It turns out that Christopher is a homeless veteran who has sacrificed for this country, only to end up on the streets addicted to opiates and alcohol. As he was telling his story to a volunteer, he pulled out a vial of methadone and held it up.
“Can you help me find help?” he asked.
Of course, the answer was “yes.” That’s what Convoy of Hope’s Community Events are all about – helping those in time of need.
As Christopher learned about recovery programs in the area, he continued to mention that he was not feeling well, was dizzy and had not eaten in several days. The doctors and nurses in the first-aid tent promptly attended to Christopher and realized that he was going through delirium tremens (DT’s) and needed more medical attention than they could offer. An ambulance was called that would take Christopher to the hospital where he would get the help he needed.
Before leaving by ambulance, he said, “I know God has a plan for me, and I don’t think it is for me to die alone in the woods.”
On this Veterans Day as we remember those who have so bravely sacrificed for this country, keep Christopher in mind. Along with thousands of other veterans, he continues to sacrifice well beyond his years of service.