Browsing Category: Volunteering

The Unsung Heroes of Convoy of Hope

From time to time I have the opportunity to speak to our staff about volunteers. Every chance I get, I jokingly tell the team I have the best job in the organization because I get to work with volunteers — the people who choose to be here. I get a little chuckle from the team, but the part about me having the best job in the organization is no joke.

Day in and day out, I get to work with people who selflessly give of their time and talents. It’s not about a volunteer just doing something that needs to be done. It’s about people being on the front lines of the ministry by working in the field, teaching others how to start their own businesses and grow their own food, answering our phones, and raising awareness about Convoy of Hope.

We have many types of partners, but one of the most important is our volunteer group. They step out of their comfort zone to help make the world a better place. These men and women aren’t afraid to go to a region of the world they know little about to help someone during their time of need. They come into our office every single week and assist with projects our staff couldn’t begin to do on their own. It would be virtually impossible to do the work we are blessed to do without the thousands of volunteers we engage every year.

It’s safe to say every single day I receive a call or email from a person wanting to be a volunteer at Convoy of Hope. The number of wonderful people in this world so willing to give is never lost on me. The compassion and love our volunteers have for people they don’t know is one of the most beautiful things I’ve witnessed. It’s a selflessness, which takes them outside of their own needs or desires to help someone else.

This is my job — getting to talk with, work with, and fellowship with some of the most amazing people in the world. They are the ones who make it possible for Convoy of Hope to do what we do. These people — our Convoy of Hope volunteers — are really the unsung heroes.

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Volunteering
Longtime friend and volunteer, Bob Brewer, deploys to disasters across the country with Convoy of Hope. Longtime friend and volunteer, Bob Brewer, deploys to disasters across the country with Convoy of Hope.

National Volunteer Week

During National Volunteer Week, I’m often reminded just how awesome my job is. Day in and day out, I get to work with people who selflessly give their time and their heart.

Heart is at the center of what we do here at Convoy, and volunteers are at the center of reaching those in need of food, water, shelter and hope. Our volunteers around the world enable us to bring hope to those who need it most.

I once read a quote from an unknown source that spoke to my heart: “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”

The volunteers I see every day show me that I’m living in a community I can be proud of. I see volunteers giving countless hours to sorting cans, filling shoe orders, bagging groceries, packing beans, rice or pasta, and the list goes on.

I see volunteers traveling the world to help people they don’t even know. They not only give their time, but also their money to reach destinations some would never dream of going — just to give a hand up.

That’s what volunteers do: They use their hands to give hope to those that need it. During this week of honoring those who volunteer, consider volunteering if you don’t already. Join the thousands of people around the world that make the communities we call home a better place.

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Join the Convoy / Volunteering

The Pack Shack Party

Just got an email from Bret Raymond, executive director of The Pack Shack, a new Northwest Arkansas anti-hunger organization dedicated to bringing people together in a “crazy fun party setting to pack healthy meals” to benefit local hunger relief organizations. Bret was writing with an update on NWA vs. Hunger, their kickoff event that recently benefitted Convoy of Hope and several other great relief organizations. Here are few sentences from Bret’s email …

“Now … the final meal count. Over two days, more than 900 people packed a total of 215,136 meals! That’s some serious funnel awesomeness! Way to go! The meals were distributed to the NWA Food Bank, 7 Hills Homeless Center, the Manna Center, and Convoy of Hope. And the meals that were given to 7 Hills on Friday afternoon were distributed on Saturday morning through their GO 7 Outreach program. Talk about immediate impact right here in NWA! As for the food [plus] drive, we estimate that 3,000-4,000 pounds of non-perishable food items were donated, along with 19 slow cookers, 1 blender, a rake and shovel, and a bunch of kitchen utensils! Beyond that, the AARP Foundation donated $10,000 to the NWA Food Bank’s senior mobile pantry program! Overwhelming generosity from every direction!”

Think Bret and The Pack Shack are passionate about fighting hunger? We do, and we’re proud to have them has partners.

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Join the Convoy / Volunteering

A volunteer phone call

To work with volunteers at Convoy of Hope is to daily dive into phone calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages, tweets etc. A red light on my desk phone is a nearly constant reminder of messages and missed calls. Honest moment; I used to be worse at checking voicemails.

Recently, I spent some time adventuring back through old and missed voice mails. As I jotted notes and numbers I came across a young lady named Amanda who left a voicemail inquiring about volunteering. Along with probably 20 other messages I took down her information and called her back. Below is my recollection of our conversation:

Amanda: Hello

Me: Is this Amanda?

Amanda: Yes

Me: Hey Amanda, this is Lisa Nene from Convoy of Hope and I was calling to talk to you about volunteering with us.

Amanda: Yeah, oh great. I was wondering how to get involved with Convoy of Hope. How did you know to call me?

Me: Well, I got your voice message that mentioned you and your kids wanted to get involved with Convoy.

Amanda: What voice mail? I haven’t left you a voice mail. I was just telling some people I work with that I wanted to get involved with Convoy, but didn’t know how.

Me: Really? This is Amanda right? Is your phone number (xxx) xxx-xxxx?

Amanda then proceeded to tell me her number was one number off of what I had written down. How crazy is that? I receive a voice message, I finally listen to it, then I barely dial the wrong number and I get another young Amanda who’s been wanting to volunteer but didn’t know how.

Some may call this coincidence. I think there’s more to it, and if my shortcomings can accomplish God’s good plans, that’s awesome!

Phones and voice mails get more respect from me these days. I’m on the phone a lot and returning messages often. The phone has been the bridge between Convoy and hundreds of volunteers that come out weekly to Hands of Hope on Tuesday nights in our warehouse. Lately my phone has helped me coordinate volunteers in Colorado where we helped those devastated by the floods and in Springfield for a recent 5K.

Not everyone gets Amanda’s special treatment, you will likely have to contact us before we contact you. You can do so here. 

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Volunteering