Browsing Category: Rural Compassion

The group rode 500 miles across New Mexico to raise money for Convoy of Hope.(PHOTO: Mark Morris) The group rode 500 miles across New Mexico to raise money for Convoy of Hope.(PHOTO: Mark Morris)

Bike for the Light

Turning a hobby into hope

Each year, Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion Initiative hosts hundreds of 24-hour training sessions across the country. Kim and Laurel Harvey, members of the team, host events like this regularly — but at a recent event in New Mexico, they wouldn’t simply be going back home afterwards. Kim was joining a group of nearly 30 people who would be riding bicycles 500 miles across New Mexico. This was all part of a mission to help raise money for Speed the Light to purchase a new vehicle for Convoy of Hope.

Nearly 30 cyclists participated in Bike for the Light.

Nearly 30 cyclists participated in Bike for the Light. (PHOTO: Robert Bradford)

“I couldn’t imagine riding 100 miles a day for five days in a row,” says Harvey. “But when I met the other riders and felt their passion for the work we do, I was encouraged.”

In its fourth year, the group made their “Bike for the Light” journey to raise money and awareness for work being done throughout the world. The riders set off on a Monday morning and would ride 100 miles a day until they finished at the Texas border on Friday evening.

“Everyone put in a lot of training,” says Jason Dickenson, lead pastor of Harvest Church in New Mexico.

Some riders participated for different legs of the race, while others completed the full 500 miles. Dickenson’s 7-year-old daughter, Ava, and her cousin Koa joined them for 100 miles.

7-year-old cousins, Ava and Koa, rode 100 of the 500 miles with their dads.(PHOTO: Robert Bradford)

7-year-old cousins, Ava and Koa, rode 100 of the 500 miles with their dads.(PHOTO: Robert Bradford)

“It was really hard going up all the hills,” Ava says. “But I want kids to learn they can do things to help too.”

Dickenson said the ride was difficult, but knowing the impact being made gave them the strength they needed to keep going.

During a 65-mile training ride Ava stopped, turned to her dad and said, “Dad, I’m really tired … but we can’t stop because there are people that need us to finish.”

So that’s what they did. After days of physical and emotional wear, the team finished and raised more than $70,000, which is the biggest fundraising year yet. According to Dickenson, it was an incredibly emotional experience for all involved and he hopes it serves as an inspiration to others.

“It’s amazing to think you can make a difference by doing something as easy as riding a bike,” he says.

It is because of friends like him, who are willing to take a hobby, talent or passion and put it to good use, that we are able to provide help and hope to millions of people throughout the world. Thank you.

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Join The Convoy / Rural Compassion
Rural Compassion volunteers load trucks with food and supplies to be shipped to rural communities. Rural Compassion volunteers load trucks with food and supplies to be shipped to rural communities.

A heart for rural America

Today, leaders from 25 rural communities around the U.S. met at Convoy of Hope’s World Distribution Center in Springfield, Missouri, to attend community outreach trainings through our Rural Compassion Initiative. Attendees drove upwards of 400 miles to receive training and resources to bring back to their communities. The summer heat didn’t stop these leaders from loading up more than four semi-truck loads of goods to distribute in their towns.

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Richard Ross of Holbrook, Missouri, says his community is very poor and overrun with a methamphetamine epidemic. He says his solution to reaching out to those in need is simple.

“We accept them as they are,” he says bluntly, noting how his involvement with Rural Compassion has greatly influenced his community.

“Becoming involved with Convoy of Hope was a watershed moment for us,” says Ross. “We went from struggling to make ends meet to prospering. It started a chain reaction. When we started taking the ideas that Convoy of Hope had given us…other doors began to open. We began partnering with a food bank and others who helped us reach out to the community.”

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Rural Compassion’s Senior Director and Convoy of Hope Co-Founder, Steve Donaldson says the training sessions are critical in the initiative’s effort to engage with community leaders in impoverished rural towns. Convoy of Hope is committed to help these leaders for years to come.

“We resource leaders and interlink them with each other,” Donaldson says. “We’re bringing people together who are focused on making their communities a better place for children and families to flourish.”

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Rural Compassion
Convoy of Hope marks milestone of bringing smiles to 70 million people around the world. Convoy of Hope marks milestone of bringing smiles to 70 million people around the world.

MILESTONE: 70 million people served!

Great news! Convoy of Hope has now helped more than 70 million people throughout the world.

While we’ve passed that milestone, we haven’t forgotten what matters most — changing lives one smile at a time. Over the last 20 years, we’ve brought hope to families in despair, helped people pick up the pieces of their lives after a disaster and put healthy meals in front of children on a daily basis. It all leads back to that one smile on someone’s face that makes all the difference in the world. Thank you for being a part of our efforts and here’s to bringing hope to the next 70 million!

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Children's Feeding / Community Outreach / Disaster Services / Inspiration / Rural Compassion
Rural Compassion volunteers help to repair a church roof in Seneca, Ill. Rural Compassion volunteers help to repair a church roof in Seneca, Ill.

Rural Compassion impacts small Illinois town

Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion Initiative recently helped coordinate a team of 30 volunteers from Calvary Church of Naperville, Ill., who helped renovate a church and held a community outreach event in Seneca, Ill., just west of Chicago.

“We were there for an entire week to show support for the people of Seneca,” says Kent Anderson, church care network coordinator for Rural Compassion. “It was incredible to see people from one community investing so much time and love in one another.”

The community event was a deemed “Mom’s Day” and included free haircuts, car washes, gift bags, oil changes, books and more for 100 guests of honor.

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Rural Compassion