Browsing Category: Program Updates

3 ways you can help Convoy of Hope empower women

Last week we saw incredible support for women on International Women’s Day. We at Convoy of Hope believe that when women are given strength and dignity, it not only impacts their families, but their entire communities as well. This is why we empower women each day to make strategic, independent life choices — and we want your help!

Women in developing countries often lack the education, opportunity and confidence to support themselves and their families. With your support, Convoy of Hope can help train women in necessary nutrition, health and everyday skills, and even help them to start their own business.

Here are 3 ways you can help empower women with Convoy of Hope:

1. Spread the word as an advocate

Being an advocate is one of the easiest ways to make an impact! Just by talking about the women who need support and raising awareness for their situation, you are supporting them. This can be as easy as telling a friend about the Women’s Empowerment program over coffee or sharing a woman’s story with a post on Facebook.

2. Throw a party

A Party2Empower is a party with a purpose! Gather your friends and neighbors to learn about some of the women who’s lives were changed through Women’s Empowerment, while enjoying activities themed from their stories. Not only is this a good way to spread the word, but it is a great opportunity to get your friends actively involved in this great cause. Learn more about throwing your own party to empower at convoy.org/women.

3. Donate

Whether its a one-time gift or a monthly commitment, your donation goes to significantly impact a woman’s life. A one-time gift of $25 would sponsor a girl in our Empowered Girls Program — helping her to attend weekly meetings where she would learn about topics like health, hygiene and harmful cultural practices, as well as helping her finish school and pursue job opportunities. A recurring monthly gift of $25 for a year would provide seed capital for a woman to start her own business. You can donate online at convoy.org/donate/IWD.

Learn more about how you can get involved with Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program at convoy.org/women.

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Join The Convoy / Women's Empowerment

Matilda: Changing her story through Women’s Empowerment

Matilda and her son, Junior, live in the beautiful country of Tanzania. Each morning, Matilda opens up her shop, confidently expecting another successful day of business. But, not too long ago, life looked very different for Matilda and Junior.

Despite working long hours making and selling donuts, oftentimes Matilda would not earn enough income to provide for Junior or herself … forcing both of them to go to bed hungry. Junior watched his mom struggle, and with wisdom beyond his years, he would encourage her that the next day would be better.

After Junior enrolled in a school benefiting from Convoy of Hope’s feeding program, Matilda enrolled in the Women’s Empowerment program. From then on, everything changed!

Now, Matilda sells many different items in her shop! She makes enough money for today and has also learned how to budget to save for the future.

Because of friends like you, women like Matilda — and their children — are receiving opportunities through Convoy of Hope that enable them to live better lives.

Thank you for helping change her story.


Click here to help us empower more women like Matilda.

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Field Story / Women's Empowerment

Hope comes to Watts

Just days before Convoy of Hope Los Angeles, very few believed it was actually going to happen. Residents of the Watts community have often been over promised and under delivered and skepticism ran rampant. Though in the face of adversity, hope came to Watts on December 2, 2017.

Hope arrives 

When the reality that this event was — in fact — going to happen hit, hope and excitement filled the community.

“I was driving down the street, on my way to Convoy and these big, monster Convoy of Hope trucks drove right by me,” said Julian Toriz, LA native and Kids Zone Leader for the event. “I’m like ‘oh my goodness!’ Rolling deep, 3 big trucks — boom, boom, boom. I got out my camera. I’m trying to drive and I’m like ‘I got to document this’.”

More than 8,400 Guests of Honor attended the event that day. They received free groceries, shoes, haircuts, and health services. The local team that worked with Convoy of Hope to make the event a reality was amazed at the impact on the community.

Overcoming challenges

The Watts neighborhood of South Central LA is an area of high poverty and crime. The 2010 census revealed that 35.9% of South Central LA live below the poverty line — more than double the U.S. rate of 14.1%. Watts is home to 13 known gangs and four of the largest housing projects in all of LA – all in a two square mile area.

A large step for the Convoy of Hope team in making this event a reality was meeting with and getting the approval of the Watts Gang Task Force to establish a Day of Peace. According to Convoy of Hope Signature Events Director Steve Pulis, not only did this create an opportunity for the community to attend the event without fear of violence, but it established the event as a positive opportunity to help the community.

“When that group came on board and got behind it, we had more than their permission,” Pulis said. “We got the word out among not only gangs, but the entire community – this event is positive, it’s here to help and the gangs are good with it. It has everyone’s support.”

The event took place in Ted Watkins Memorial Park. This is a special place to Convoy of Hope as it was the site of the first Community Event in 1995, only a few years before the park was closed due to violence at a few large park events. The park was closed to large events for 20 years, until the Convoy of Hope event in 2017.

A day of miracles

Convoy of Hope’s Community Events are only possible through the support of volunteers from within the community and its surrounding areas. For most Community Events, the Convoy of Hope team aims to get between 1,200 and 2,000 volunteers. However, by the day of the Watts event there were only 400 volunteers registered and only 303 actually came.

Even with the low volunteer attendance, the event ran smoothly and every Guest of Honor was able to be served.

“It’s a miracle that we didn’t have any issues,” Pulis said. “People can complain anywhere. You can get in too long of a line at the check out of any store and you’re gonna have someone upset. Nothing here.”

Local team member and long-time Watts resident Cornell Ward referenced the biblical story of The Feeding of the 5,000 — in which Jesus feeds 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish — and said “I know what it feels like.”

Hope continues

Convoy of Hope is grateful for the opportunity to bring some hope to South Central LA, but the work is not done yet. Convoy of Hope has already planned to return to LA for another Community Event on December 1, 2018.

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Community Outreach / Field Story / Volunteering

A Big Impact in Rural America

Cities, urban areas, metropoles — they’re full of community centers, places where groups can meet, those in need can receive help and communities can grow and thrive. So, where do you go in a small, rural town? The local church.

Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion Initiative reaches out to those in need through organizations local to the area. The local church often offers space, volunteers and a leader with a heart to help their community.

One of Convoy’s great partners is Tommy Hayes, the Assemblies of God North Texas Rural Ministry Coordinator. According to Hayes, many of the pastors and churches he works with already hold the desire to help their community, but lack the resources to do so. This is where Convoy of Hope comes in.

“The rural church doesn’t have much money to do anything, to buy these big resources,” Hayes said. “But Rural Compassion supplies the resources to be able to do this with very little and make a big impact.”

Convoy of Hope is proud to have partnered with more than 1,200 churches and organizations in 2017 around rural America. Through these churches, the Rural Compassion Initiative has been able to distribute more than 90,000 pairs of shoes, 1,000,000 meals and other resources to those in need.

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Rural Compassion

Rural Compassion combats poverty

Imagine being 12 years old, waking up early for school because you have to walk to get there. You squeeze into a pair of shoes that once fit, when you originally got them, but are now too tight. There’s a hole in one sole and a tear on the other, but they’re all you have and your family can’t afford a new pair. This is a real situation for too many kids living in rural America today.

In 2016, 15.8 percent of people living in Rural America were living in poverty. That is three percent more than the national average of 12.7. This high poverty rate is underlined with a greater lack of resources. For most living in rural areas, the closest career center or food bank may be hours away depending on how close the nearest metro area is. Many of those in need also do not have access to a car, making those resources even harder to get to.

With a lack of resources in smaller towns, many look to churches as community centers. Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion Initiative resources and partners with rural churches. Through training, mentoring and coaching, Convoy helps churches strengthen their communities. We do this through partnerships with community stakeholders, shoe and backpack distributions in schools and feeding programs.

If you have a heart for rural America, one of the best ways to help is to spread the word. When many think of high-poverty areas, they don’t picture “small town America.” Changing this preconception and helping inform others is big step a toward helping working poor families in need.

You can also donate to support Rural Compassion here.

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Join The Convoy / Program Updates / Rural Compassion