Browsing Category: Join the Convoy

Treating others as a Guest of Honor

Convoy of Hope began hosting Community Events 25 years ago. Since then, we’ve helped thousands of Guests of Honor — from New York to Hawaii, Washington to Florida, and everywhere in between — in more than 1,200 cities in the United States. 

Guests of Honor are our neighbors, co-workers, the people we see at church each Sunday, the grocery check-out clerk, or the person asking for help on the corner. They are the families who need a hand-up during difficult times, individuals living on the fringes of poverty, and those who are barely making it paycheck to paycheck. They are people we all know and love and want to help. 

They are people like Carly. It had already been a long day for Carly before she attended the Wichita Convoy of Hope Community Event with her family. She’d worked eight hours at one job; after the event, she would be going to her second job. 

Carly and her family have attended the Community Event for four years in a row. She and her kids go to every area: haircuts, shoes, Kids Zone to receiving backpacks, and groceries at the end. The haircuts are particularly of value. The only time Carly’s daughters receive haircuts are when they attend Community Events.

When asked why she keeps returning, she says, “Convoy is one of the most understanding and respectful organizations. They treat you like a person. Like you’re just another person that deserves something. They don’t look down on you. They don’t treat you different. They don’t talk to you like you’re a 5-year old kid. You don’t get that. People in our situations don’t get that.” 

Her entire family feels connected to the event. In fact, her oldest daughter decided to be a volunteer this year. “We’re hoping by next year, we won’t need the services, and then we can all come back and volunteer,” Carly says. “They’ve helped us, so we try to give back if we can.”  

Carly and her family are striving to be like the Camposes — Guests of Honor who went to their first event several years ago when they were having a tough time. The flyer they received highlighted free services that they needed.

“When I came to the Convoy of Hope event, and every five or six meters is one person, smiling and saying, ‘Welcome. You’ve been welcome. God bless you.’ Wow. This is what I needed,” said Roberto Campos. “I believe the people received me and this changed my life.” 

Since then, the entire Campos family has volunteered at their local Community Event for five consecutive years. Coming full circle from receiving to giving back — showing other Guests of Honor in their community the same level of dignity and respect they were shown. 

Since 1994, Convoy of Hope Community Events have served more than 2 million Guests of Honor around the United States — people like Carly and the Camposes — who simply need hope in a time of need. To learn more about Community Events, visit convoyofhope.org/events

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Community Outreach / Field Story / Inspiration / Join the Convoy / Volunteering

Field Teams: Hope for a Sustainable Future

Convoy of Hope Field Teams come alongside communities and engage in work that helps them flourish. Teams from all over the U.S. work with the staff in several countries around the world to tackle projects that support Convoy’s various programs. These opportunities give volunteers the chance to offer hope and help in ways that not only affect the lives of one child or family, but the long-term trajectory of an entire community.

Since we began our Field Teams program in 2013, we’ve engaged more than 4,600 volunteers. These teams help in places like the Ngaramtoni Primary School in Tanzania, where teams serve kids who are in our Children’s Feeding program. 

According to Jackie Brawner, a Field Team volunteer leader who worked in this area of Tanzania, teams began working with the school by offering kids lunch every day and helping clear brush so they could build greenhouses. Jackie’s church, Bonita Valley Community Church, even funded two greenhouses for the school to grow their own food for lunch. The school can now sell any extra food they grow at the market to purchase other foods as well, which diversifies their students’ diets. 

With the help of Field Teams, we hope that one day this community will be thriving without need of our help. 

“I love that Convoy of Hope is focused on sustainability,” Jackie says. “We are able, as a team, to go into the places where Convoy of Hope is working and continue the work. And when we leave, because of the established programs they have there, the projects will be continued.” 

Since Convoy entered Ngaramtoni, we’ve held community meetings, helped identify income generating opportunities, addressed hygiene and sanitation issues, empowered mothers to do business, and taught students gardening techniques. The school is now poised to harvest and sell more than 10 metric tons of tomatoes per year, which will fund the lunch program in the future.

“Working with Convoy of Hope Field Teams is the greatest blessing of my life,” says Jackie. “To be boots on the ground and to see the work and effort that Convoy of Hope is doing to feed people and change lives is a priceless experience. On a Field Team, there will be guaranteed laughter and tears. You cannot come back the same. They are truly trips of a lifetime.” 

Already in 2019, 46 Field Teams have served in 10 different locations, from Moldova to the Mississippi Delta. These incredible volunteers have helped with numerous projects around the world in support of our mission — providing help and hope to people who need it most. 

Visit convoyofhope.org/fieldteams to learn more about Field Teams.

 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Agriculture / Children's Feeding / Field Story / Join the Convoy / Volunteering

Disruptive Compassion: Convoy of Hope CEO to release new book

Hal Donaldson, Convoy of Hope founder and CEO, is releasing his new book “Disruptive Compassion: Becoming The Revolutionary You Were Born To Be” on July 9, 2019. In “Disruptive Compassion,” Donaldson makes the bold claim that we possess the power to provoke real and meaningful change.

More than 25 years ago, Donaldson went on a journey to make a difference. What began as a personal quest led to starting Convoy of Hope, which has now served more than 115 million people.

With raw and inspiring stories from the world’s most desperate places and his own journey to find meaning, Donaldson takes readers on a tour along the frontlines of courage and compassion. He provides a crash course in what it takes to become a revolutionary and shows us how to evaluate the resources we already have, navigate real concerns and risks, and ultimately become equipped as agitators with purpose.

“Hopefully this book will help you discover what you were born to do and equip you to confront the status quo through disruptive compassion,” says Donaldson. “I know that ‘change the world’ sounds like a campaign slogan. We’ve heard it repeated until we no longer believe it’s achievable. In this book, ‘change the world’ denotes a direction rather than a destination. ‘Disruptive Compassion’ is your invitation to move beyond pity, helplessness and outrage. It’s your playbook for making a difference right where you are with what you have.”

Click here to preorder your copy.

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From the Founders / In the News / Inspiration / Join the Convoy

Volunteering with Convoy of Hope

Volunteers are at the heart of everything Convoy of Hope does. From bagging groceries for Community Events around the country to removing debris after a devastating storm, Convoy of Hope volunteers walk hand in hand with us to help those in need.

We asked a few of our wonderful volunteers to share why they’re passionate about bringing help and hope to impoverished, hungry, and hurting people around the world.

Linda McCalister, a Convoy of Hope volunteer, has served as a community event lead volunteer for two years, volunteers at Hands of Hope, and serves with Convoy:Women. When asked why she would encourage someone to volunteer with Convoy, she says, “You will make some new friends, learn new things, and join an organization that opens the door to hope for thousands — if not millions — of people. It will change your life.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS

At Convoy of Hope Community Events, guests receive free groceries, health screenings, haircuts, career services, and much more. Linda recalls a story from one event of a mother and her young daughter who had walked two miles to a local Community Event so they could receive shoes.

“All she had to wear were plastic shoes that wore blisters on her feet to the point she could not even try on the [new] shoes. The volunteer found the right shoes for the little girl and bandaged her blisters. Then they connected her with someone who gave them a ride home! Something so small that meant so much.”

In 2018, Communities Events served more than 96,000 Guests of Honor at 62 community events in 48 cities. These events would not have been possible without the nearly 28,000 volunteers who partners with Convoy of Hope.

HANDS OF HOPE

On Tuesday nights, Convoy of Hope opens the doors of our World Distribution Center in Springfield, Missouri, and welcomes volunteers in for a weekly volunteer opportunity called Hands of Hope. Volunteers help sort, pack, count, and label items that are distributed throughout the world.

“It’s a great opportunity to serve and provide others in the local community and around the world with the essential items they might not have been able to get,” says Connor Louthan, a lead Hands of Hope volunteer.

In 2018, Hands of Hope partnered with more than 5,500 volunteers who invested more than 12,500 hours during the year.

FIELD TEAMS

Gerald Norz, another Convoy of Hope volunteer, has served on multiple Field Teams during the past five years. He loves working with partners in the field, saying one of his most memorable experiences volunteering with Convoy is, “seeing the children waving as we arrived at the site in Tanzania … such a great welcome and such warm smiles.”

Eighty-two Field Teams — comprised of more than 1,000 volunteers — served in 11 countries around the world in 2018. These teams serve people through projects and interaction connected to Convoy’s Children’s Feeding and Agriculture programs.

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Community Events, Field Teams, and Hands of Hope are just three of several volunteer opportunities with Convoy of Hope. Whether it’s driving a Convoy of Hope truck, answering phones, or deploying with our Disaster Services team, every volunteer makes a difference in a person’s life through the service they provide. In 2018, we had more than 57,000 volunteers serve domestically and internationally. We are so thankful for each person who serves with their heart and their time! Visit convoyofhope.org/volunteer to learn more about how you can volunteer at Convoy of Hope.

 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Community Outreach / Join the Convoy / Volunteering

Three ways you’re providing clean water through Convoy of Hope

Hope flows through clean water. Today, billions of people around the world are plagued by a lack of access to clean water systems, causing disease and even death. However, the kindness of friends like you is changing that. Students in developing countries, disaster survivors across the United States, and those in rural communities who often feel forgotten are all having their concerns washed away through wells, water filters, and bottled water provided by Convoy of Hope.

Wells 

According to UNICEF, one in four primary schools around the world have no drinking water service. Students are often forced to decide between drinking from unsafe sources or going thirsty. Convoy of Hope is giving students the answer by providing clean water.

Ngaramtoni Primary School’s nearly 1,400 students had to rely on water from a nearby private school. It helped, but it wasn’t enough to meet students’ needs.

On December 7, 2018, a drilling rig struck water at a depth of 394 feet. As water rose up, the drilling company used compressed air to clean out the borehole, and the volume of water that came out was miraculous. It came in torrents, knocking down plants and collecting in a muddy pool before draining out to a nearby stream. The school teachers and Convoy staff were overjoyed. “Now we can do so much more,” the head teacher said.

Water Filters

When hurricanes, typhoons, and similar storms strike, the biggest problem isn’t a lack of water, but too much of it. Unsanitary flood water contaminates clean water sources — leaving people without water to drink, clean, or cook with. Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team has travelled all over the world bringing water filtration systems to those who need them.

Cyclone Idai slammed into southeast Africa last week. Idai left thousands of square miles of land completely underwater, and clean water is running out fast. Convoy of Hope already has a team in Malawi and another is en route to Mozambique where they will distribute relief supplies, including more than 300 water filters, to the communities affected by this disaster.

These water filtration systems are much larger than the ones you may find in your water bottle or on your sink faucet. They can be shared amongst several families and if kept clean they can last for years to come.

Bottled Water

Here in the U.S., disasters can compromise and even wipe out local water systems, too — leaving families without clean water for days or months at a time.

Families across the Midwest are currently dealing with some of the most severe flooding they’ve seen in decades. Nebraska farms are underwater, homes in Illinois have been destroyed, and several communities no longer have access to clean water as their water system has been compromised. Convoy of Hope has already delivered more than 250,000 pounds of bottled water to communities in need.

When the Camp Fire burned through the city of Paradise, California, it not only left thousands of homes and businesses burned, but it left an entire city without access to clean water. Now, almost five months since the fire, Convoy of Hope continues to send two truck loads of water to Paradise every week. This provides one of the main water sources for the city as families work to rebuild their lives.

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Children's Feeding / Disaster Services / Field Story / Join the Convoy