When Lashai arrived to volunteer at the Community Event in Lafayette, Indiana, she was concerned that the changes COVID-19 required would make the event less personal. Thankfully, her experience was the exact opposite. In fact, had it not been personal, Lashai wouldn’t have been at that Community Event at all.
In 2011, Lashai and her three children were homeless and didn’t know anyone in their new home of Lafayette. Even then, Lashai was no stranger to adversity. “I grew up in a very rough area of Chicago, born to teenage parents. My father was a drug addict, my brother was a gang member, and a lot of my cousins were in a lot of trouble,” she explained.
After finding their way to an outreach hosted by River City Church in Lafayette, Lashai and her children established new connections and regained their footing. It wasn’t long before Lashai began giving back to her community, and she has made it a point to serve at every Community Event in her area since. “Whenever they have a Community Event it’s obvious that I want to be part of it,” Lashai emphasized.
Although the pandemic required the Community Event to follow a drive-through point of distribution model, Lashai still made a difference for the Guests of Honor who attended that day. She volunteered at the Connections Center, where she recalled encouraging and praying for a particularly large number of people who arrived feeling hopeless. However, her own personal experiences equipped her to help those who felt downtrodden, and those same guests left with their needs met and a renewed sense of hope. When she saw the tears in their eyes, Lashai knew that — despite the challenges the pandemic presented — she had made a difference for many individuals in her community.
Thanks to volunteers like Lashai, Convoy of Hope has helped serve communities across the nation, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out more about Convoy of Hope’s Community Events program, click here.