Browsing Category: Rural Compassion

New shoes bring new hope

Just days before a shipment of new shoes would arrive in Sarcoxie, MO., a young boy ran up to Megan, the Children’s Pastor of a local church. The boy had been playing outside with his friends, but the soles of his only pair of shoes were worn down to nothing and holes were allowing rocks to get in as he played. Having been sized for shoes weeks earlier, he excitedly asked the woman when the new shoes would arrive.

This kind of story is reality for many kids living in Rural America today. Many can’t afford new shoes so they are stuck with old hand-me-downs, shoes that are too small or worn down shoes riddled with holes. The young Sarcoxie boy was lucky to have a caring community to help him. After assuring the boy that new shoes would soon arrive, Megan ran home and grabbed a pair of her son’s old shoes that the boy could wear in the interim.

As pastors of First Baptist Church Sarcoxie, Megan and her husband Scott saw this kind of need in their community and reached out to their partners in Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion program to provide a new pair of shoes to every child in their local Elementary School. This meant that not only did the kids in need of a new pair of shoes receive them, but they did not have to worry about being singled out as different from their friends.

“A lot of my students were excited that they had the same exact shoe their friends had,” said fourth grade teacher Kim Hill after the distribution. “For a lot of my students, they don’t have that name-brand shoe. This gives those kids an opportunity to have those shoes that their friends have.”

Whether it’s raising self-esteem or making sure they have a solid pair of shoes to run around in, a new pair of shoes makes a powerful impact on the life of a child in need.

Learn more about how Rural Compassion is making an impact on rural America at convoy.org/rc.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Rural Compassion

Baskets of Hope

Spreading hope in a community can seem like a daunting task, but as Hope Church in Caledonia, MO. learned, all you need to do is show a little love and compassion.

After attending a Rural Compassion training with Convoy of Hope, Pastor Dale Stringer began serving his community through treat baskets. With some snacks provided by Convoy of Hope, Stinger and his church began filling baskets with treats and taking them to areas of their community. They brought baskets to the local school, fire department, police station, city hall, pregnancy resource center and even business owners in town.

As they continued to deliver baskets around town, they began to run out of the supplies provided by Convoy. However, the church was so excited about serving their community that instead of waiting for another delivery from Convoy they began buying snacks on their own to put into the baskets.

“We really had so much fun going around handing stuff out and blessing people,” Stringer says.

Soon people all over Caledonia knew Stringer and his church members. They looked forward to the basket deliveries. One business owner even began referring to Stringer as “Mr. Hope”.

 

Opportunities for Hope

As the group continued to serve their community, they saw new ways to spread hope. A few people noticed some community members had trouble getting into a local restaurant, as it didn’t have a wheelchair accessible ramp. So they went back to Hope Church and the congregation raised the funds to build the ramp. Church members also went and personally poured the new concrete ramp at the restaurant.

The community of Caledonia now knows that the people at Hope Church are people they can rely on.

“The basket ministry launched us into this civic duty. The town comes to us for help and knows they can depend on us,” Stringer says.

It doesn’t take much to bring hope to your community. In the words of Pastor Stinger, “a lot of it is just showing love and compassion”.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Rural Compassion

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.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
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.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Join the Convoy / Program Updates / Rural Compassion