Cliff Watson knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and forgotten. This is why, as the administrative pastor at Providence Baptist Church, he recently helped Convoy of Hope hold Community Events in and around Cleveland, Ohio. Cliff is doing everything he can to help those in his hometown who also resonate with feelings of rejection.
Cliff’s early life was filled with strife and trauma. “At 12 or 13 years old, I started selling drugs and kind of got into the whole life of the drug world. I just kind of began to live that life for a while,” he says. “I dropped out of high school. My daughter was born when I was 17 years old. People were saying I wouldn’t live to be 20.”
Thankfully, Cliff admitted himself into a local program that helped him to earn his GED, deal with his legal troubles, and get a job. It also inspired him to help others who are living through the same struggles he once did.
Originally, the Convoy of Hope Community Event was designed to be a larger gathering at Luke Easter Park. Once the pandemic became a concern, the event turned into a drive-thru point of distribution (POD). After the city expressed unease about the event taking place at the park, it was redirected to the two campuses of Providence Baptist Church: one in Euclid and one in Cleveland.
An hour before the event, people were already lined up and ready to go through the POD drive-thru. Police officers helped to direct traffic and serve Guests of Honor. In total, the event provided more than 5,000 bags of groceries to those in need.
“That’s why I’m partnered with Convoy of Hope in the first place; it really fits into the bigger picture of community transformation,” Cliff explained. “Before a shovel is ever lifted, before any money and all of those things are distributed, and before a project is even talked about, we just want you to know … that we love you, there is hope, and we can show you that there is hope by bringing hope in on a truck.”