Browsing Category: Join the Convoy

Hands of Hope Volunteers pack meals and kindness

Becky Stegner has been volunteering at Convoy of Hope’s weekly Hands of Hope event for over a decade.

“I think it’s great that people you don’t even know are going to benefit from the projects we did tonight,” Becky remarked while unboxing groceries for an upcoming distribution event. “They’re probably going to be super thankful for it and just think, ‘If somebody took time out of their evening in the middle of the week to help me, I should look for something to do to help somebody else down the road.’”

Although the pandemic has required that volunteer opportunities take on a new form in order to keep participants safe, chances for people to donate their time have not been in short supply. Around the world, Convoy of Hope’s partners have been pitching in to prove that with a little time and effort, you can make a big difference in the world.

“Volunteering is important for Convoy,” Convoy of Hope’s Volunteer Engagement Project Coordinator Bethany Burrows pointed out. “It provides an opportunity for people to give. It’s a great way to easily acquaint people with our initiatives and the vision and heart behind the organization. In general, I love volunteering because it can give people a way to create community and provide purpose and create change in lives with minimal financial and time commitment.”

Bethany went on to explain that volunteer opportunities have helped cultivate some of her closest friendships and shaped her career over the years.

“Our volunteers help contribute to the quality and quantity of the assistance we provide others,” Volunteer Engagement Manager, Laura Tourville added. “We would not be able to accomplish as much we do as an organization without the sacrifice and dedication of our volunteers continually showing up to provide hope to those that need it.”

From Community Events and grocery distributions, kit packing parties, and disaster response initiatives, Convoy of Hope is able to help people because of our volunteers. We are incredibly grateful for the ways our supporters have chosen to give their time throughout the past year, and how they’ve prioritized the safety of those involved.

As a new year begins, we are excited to see how people like you will choose to make a difference.

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Community Outreach / In the News / Inspiration / Join the Convoy

How to change the world in 2021

It’s a new year and many of us need a fresh start. Whether it’s setting up ways to be more generous, finding new opportunities to volunteer, or being proactive in your kindness, here are several ways you can make 2021 the year you start changing the world for the better.

 

Smart Giving

Use these apps and platforms to make being generous even easier!

  • RoundUp – Use this app to “round up” your purchases to donate 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.
  • 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.
  • Alexa – If you use any Alexa-enabled device, simply say, “Alexa, make a donation to Convoy of Hope,” and they 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.
  • Recurring Donation – You can set up a recurring on Convoy of Hope’s website to donate whatever amount you choose each month to help us in our mission to feed the world.

 

Volunteering

Search around your local community for ways to volunteer your time or look for opportunities to help your favorite organization from the comfort of your own home. Here’s how you can volunteer with Convoy of Hope:

  • Build Hygiene & Baby Care Kits – Visit convoyofhope.org/kits for instructions on how to build these kits from simple items you can buy from your local store. Then, pack them up and ship them to Convoy’s headquarters, where our staff will help to distribute the kits across the world.
  • Learn about Convoy of Hope’s volunteer opportunities at events or our headquarters at convoyofhope.org/volunteer.

 

For more ways to make a positive impact on the world this year, follow us (@convoyofhope) on social media.

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Join the Convoy / Volunteering

Multiplying Hope

YOUR KINDNESS IS CHANGING LIVES

Chege ran with desperation in his eyes. Sweat poured down the 8-year-old boy’s face as he took in another panicky, dust-filled breath. He sprinted through fields of brittle grass and down the winding roads that surrounded his Kenyan neighborhood. He had to find help. 

His mother was dying.

The night before, his father — an abusive, violent alcoholic — had beaten Chege’s mother during a drunken rage.

The next morning, she called to Chege, saying, “I want you to run and find your father, because I feel like I’m going to die.” 

The boy ran as fast as he could, but his mother passed before they returned. Chege thought his future died with his mother. But, his life was far from over. Chege was enrolled in a school where Convoy of Hope fed hungry children like him. It was there that he also received his first pair of shoes. 

He started studying diligently, and his teachers began to see a difference in his performance. With a nutritious meal in his stomach and determination in his soul, he advanced three grade levels in one year. 

Eventually, he finished school and was accepted into university to study chemistry. 

Today Chege finds time to tutor students in the school he attended as a child — the same place where Convoy of Hope still feeds children every school day. “I’m telling them they are valuable,” he says. “I tell them I was like them. Hungry in my body and in my mind, and people like Convoy of Hope came along and fed me. And now, because of them, I will never be the same. I will accomplish my vision. And nothing can stop me.” 

That’s what we call “hope multiplied.” From the outskirts of a Kenyan village to major metropolitan cities within the U.S., Convoy of Hope is partnering with schools, churches, community groups, and friends to spread hope to people who just need to know someone cares.

CHICAGO KINDNESS 

More than 20 years ago, Convoy of Hope began conducting Community Events in Chicago, Illinois. Year after year, we brought together churches, businesses, and civic organizations to reach out to thousands of honored guests in these communities. With the assistance of more than 1,000 volunteers at each event, we returned each year with groceries, job fairs, medical and dental services, children’s shoes, and more — all of which was free of charge to guests. Local authorities and law enforcement said they saw a tangible difference in the communities because of the kindness shown. 

Through Community Events held in 2015, 2016, and 2018, we served 28,193 Guests of Honor living in the Chicago area. “Lives have been changed because of the generosity of your partners and the diligence of the workers,” says one Chicago pastor. 

When COVID-19 threatened to cancel the 2020 Chicago Community Event altogether, the large-scale gathering was in jeopardy. But the community was determined to make it happen. They knew what it would do for children and families in need. Through a Disaster Services model — where food and services are distributed safely — more than 5,000 families were still served. Despite the pandemic and all the obstacles it brought that day, hope was multiplied.

“Each day, Convoy of Hope’s friends and partners make sacrifices so others can receive real help and lasting hope,” says Hal Donaldson, Convoy of Hope’s President. “From our Children’s Feeding programs, to the job training initiatives for women, to water and agriculture initiatives for farmers, to Community Events and our disaster relief efforts, people are having their hope restored and multiplied.”

This story was first published in Convoy of Hope’s Hope Quarterly magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.

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Hope for South Africa: An Interview with Dr. Jim Blessman

Dr. Jim Blessman is the creator of Blessman International, a faith-based organization which works to meet the needs of children and families in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Blessman International — a strategic partner of Convoy of Hope in South Africa — creates programs which help provide food, water, sanitation, and critical knowledge to participants.

Convoy: Not everyone can travel to Africa and see the hunger crisis for themselves. Describe what it looks like. 

Blessman: In South Africa, it’s not a war-torn area where you see people with pot bellies and skin changes because of malnutrition. Kids here are more in the realm of stunted children. The untrained eye might not even see it until you ask the ages of children. They typically are about three years older than you would guess. They’re chronically underfed, and that affects their brain development and stature. 

Convoy: What effect has the COVID-19 pandemic had on our efforts this past year? 

Blessman: In our area, many kids who are vulnerable will get their food at school and program centers. But when the government became worried about COVID-19, they locked down both of those. It was very frustrating knowing that so many kids still need food. But we’re doing all we can. 

Convoy: How is Convoy of Hope working to end stunting and malnutrition in South Africa? 

Blessman: Convoy of Hope is [critical] to ending malnutrition in South Africa. Convoy of Hope provides 1.4 million meals each year … and helped us teach families about agriculture so they can sustain their own nutrition.

Convoy: What motivates you to keep meeting needs? 

Blessman: I’m a physician, so it’s in my DNA to help people. It energizes me … Whenever I feel a little discouraged, I look around for somebody I can help. It just makes me feel better. 

Convoy: Is there anything else you want to say to our readers? 

Blessman: Yes, it’s been a 10- year partnership with Convoy of Hope. It’s been a tremendous blessing to lots of people.This story was first published in Convoy of Hope’s Hope Quarterly magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.

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Sandy Taylor distributes meals during Convoy of Hope's response to COVID-19. Sandy Taylor distributes meals during Convoy of Hope's response to COVID-19.

Merry Christmas: A letter from Hal Donaldson

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and experience-rich cultures and incredible sights. But I’ve also seen incredible need. I’ve seen families struggling to survive; I’ve witnessed children lingering outside of schools wondering where their next meals will come from. In truth, it’s sobering.

This holiday season, I tend to think about all those I’ve encountered who do not have their basic needs met. It’s easy to feel guilty for what we have, but seldom does guilt solve problems. It’s more important to be grateful for what you have and to make a decision to share with others.

This year has been unlike anything we could have expected. However, in the midst of hardship, I have seen people like you join in a united act of compassion. You are why — each year as the lights go up and the holiday music plays — I can’t help but be overwhelmed by gratitude.

I am grateful for every person and every partner who has made what we do at Convoy of Hope possible. Because of you, our fleet of tractor-trailers continue to crisscross the nation delivering millions of meals to those who are hurting. Because of you, we have maintained our global program activity during this pandemic, feeding children and empowering families. It’s truly inspiring the way we’ve seen people come together to make a difference despite these uncertain times.

Thank you, again, for being willing to do what you can to help your neighbors in need, both those close and far away. Your generosity and selflessness have inspired me and continue to build a better future for us all.

God bless,

Hal Donaldson

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