Browsing Category: In The News

Celebrating Veterans: The sacrifice

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.

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Community Outreach / In The News
Gail Starnes, a local volunteer coordinator for the Convoy of Hope community event in Wichita was recently interviewed on the Brett and Sierra show on KWCH12. Gail Starnes, a local volunteer coordinator for the Convoy of Hope community event in Wichita was recently interviewed on the Brett and Sierra show on KWCH12.

Expecting great things in Wichita

We’re expecting an incredible day for thousands of guests of honor and volunteers on Saturday, August 2, at our community event in Wichita, Kan. Watch this local news story to see what volunteers and guests of honor experience at a Convoy of Hope community event.

Learn about attending, volunteering and more Wichita Community Event

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Community Outreach / In The News / Program Updates
Cyclist John Strathdee, 17, is competing in cycling races around the country in support of feedONE, a Convoy of Hope initiative. Cyclist John Strathdee, 17, is competing in cycling races around the country in support of feedONE, a Convoy of Hope initiative.

Racing for hunger

Cyclist John Strathdee, 17, is competing in cycling races around the country in support of feedONE, a Convoy of Hope initiative.

“This support allows me the opportunity to meet people and hear their stories,” Strathdee says. “I consider myself blessed to be able to hit the road most weekends, spreading the message of feedONE.”

FeedONE supports Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding Initiative in 11 countries.

Take a look at John’s racing schedule for the rest of the summer!

July 8, 22 (Tue)​ Springfield, Mo.
July 10 (Thurs)​​ Gardner, Kan.
July 12-13 (Sat, Sun) ​Nev.
July 19-20 (Sat, Sun) ​Ill.
July 29 (Tue)​​ Arkansas
August 2, 3 (Sat, Sun) ​Pittsburg, Kan.
August 5 (Tue)​​ Springfield, Mo.
August 9 (Sat)​​ Centralia, Mo. (State TT)
August 10 (Sun)​​ Jefferson City, Mo. (State Crit)
August 14 (Thurs) ​Gardner, Kan.
August 23-24 (Sat, Sun) ​Sedalia Crit/Ottervile, Mo. RR
Aug 29 – Sept 1​​ St. Louis, Mo. (Gateway)

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In The News / Inspiration

Bringing music to Haitian children

When Springfield, Mo., native Christopher Akins, was reading though a back issue of Convoy of Hope’s Hope Report, the story of Johnny Mac caught his eye.

“I saw that photo of him playing makeshift drums and it really touched my heart,” says Akins.

The photo of Johnny Mac smiling widely and playing percussion is a stark contrast to the shape he was in when he came to a Convoy of Hope sponsored orphanage in Haiti in 2006. He was found abandoned and hungry on the mean streets of Port-au-Prince before being brought to the orphanage. His story stuck with Akins.

“I knew I had to do something,” says Akins. “I really think God dropped this in my heart so I began brainstorming on what to do.”

A musician himself, Akins says he knew almost immediately what to do. He’d send instruments to the orphanage.

David Edson, Convoy of Hope’s Caribbean Regional Manager took the call from Akin offering to help.

“It was an incredible idea and having spent time with Johnny Mac and the other kids at this orphanage, I knew how much the instruments would mean to them,” says Edson. “I told him that if he came up with the instruments, we’d be happy to ship them.”

Akins immediately began gathering the instruments, sourcing them separately through donations and from his own pocket. He eventually acquired a drum set, conga drums and a keyboard that were shipped to Haiti from Springfield.

“My goal was to send instruments I would enjoy playing myself,” adds Akins.

Upon shipping the instruments, Akins says he felt compelled to travel to Haiti to teach the kids how to play the instruments, so after coordinating timing with the arrival of the container, Akins and his father found themselves in Port-au-Prince.

“They waited to open the instruments until we got there,” says Akins. “It was so much fun to see the kids and their faces as they opened the. Even the adults were extremely excited.”

Akins and his father spent a few days at the orphanage, teaching group and private music lessons to the children. He says he learned just as much from the kids as they did from him.

“My next dream is to have ongoing music education for them,” he says.

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Children's Feeding / In The News / Program Updates

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