Country: USA

Convoy of Hope receives 16th consecutive “Four Star Charity” rating from Charity Navigator

Convoy of Hope is happy to announce we have received Charity Navigator’s top Four Star Charity rating for the 16th year in a row!

We understand that financial accountability and transparency are very important when you are deciding what charitable organizations you want to support. To that end, we work tirelessly to ensure we meet and exceed the best practices of our industry. That is why every year since 2002, Convoy has received the highest possible rating from industry watchdog, Charity Navigator.

Currently, nearly 90 percent of every dollar raised by Convoy of Hope goes directly to programming. The remaining covers our administrative and fundraising costs. Convoy’s commitment to keeping our overhead low demonstrates our determination to efficiently deliver help and hope to people in need.

Convoy of Hope’s profile on Charity Navigator can be found here.

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News

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.

***

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

The Extra Mile

Smoke and dust twist together lazily on the Honduran road that marks the frontline of poverty for this community. Birds call quietly back and forth to each other over the low rumble of heavy machinery in the distance. On one side of the road is a small, two-room schoolhouse, and on the other a towering hill holding back a mountainous expanse of garbage.

In 2016, six-year-old Ana had a choice to make every day: she could dig for recyclables to sell so she could eat, or she could go to school and learn. Hunger won out a majority of the time, and she regularly spent her days combing through the dump looking for things to sell.

“One day, Ana’s mother sent her to school, thinking that we would feed her,” said Principal Katherine Mejia. “It was a Monday, so Ana hadn’t eaten all weekend.”

Weakened by hunger, Ana stumbled to school and dropped into her chair. Ana struggled to concentrate on her lessons as her eyes glazed over. Without warning, she tumbled onto the concrete floor.

Ana was not the only child struggling with hunger at the school. Many came every day with an empty belly. “That was very hard for us, but it was impossible to provide [for them],” said Principal Mejia.

Ana’s case is not uncommon for kids in struggling schools around the world. Soon after Ana’s incident, Convoy of Hope began delivering food to her school. Since then, Ana’s situation has changed dramatically. “Before, when she was hungry, she was super shy. She didn’t talk and stared at the floor,” said Mejia. “So we can see her health is progressing [slowly with proper nutrition], but it’s a long road ahead.”

“Before she can start to learn, she needs to be healthy.”

In 2018, Convoy of Hope reached a milestone goal — feeding 200,000 children throughout the world — two years ahead of the 2020 target.

“The goal Convoy of Hope set in 2016 was a lofty one,” says Convoy of Hope President Hal Donaldson. “At the time, 160,000 children were a part of our Children’s Feeding initiative. Reaching 200,000 seemed like an achievable goal, but one that would certainly take until 2020 to reach.”

The increase of nearly 23,000 children in one year is a direct result of the community surrounding Convoy of Hope. We’ve never been content with the status quo, and we choose to partner with those who feel the same way. Rapid strides in both meal donations and financial support fueled Convoy’s ability to grow and has brought us to where we are today.

Today, Convoy of Hope is operating in 1,131 program centers around the world. In 2018, we began Children’s Feeding interventions in Sri Lanka, India, and Uganda while continuing our work in 11 other countries, including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Haiti, South Africa, Nepal, and Lebanon.

In addition to leveraging these strategic feeding initiatives, Convoy of Hope has also established complementary interventions in many program countries to foster thriving communities. In 2018, more than 6,400 individuals were engaged in our Agriculture initiative, and more than 6,700 women joined our Women’s Empowerment program.

“We strategically feed children in schools to strengthen our relationship with each community and empower broader impact through families,” says Heath Adamson, Convoy of Hope’s Chief of Staff. “This milestone represents hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals who know their value. Compassion not only makes a difference — it makes the difference.”

For Ana, the food she receives is key to her education … and education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty that has trapped generations of her family. At Convoy of Hope, we believe Ana deserves a bright future, full of opportunity, health, and safety. It’s our privilege to help clear the path that will take her there.

*This story first appeared in the 2018 Convoy of Hope Annual Report. Find the full report at convoyofhope.org/annualreport.

 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding

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