State: Missouri

Convoy of Hope Hosts Chainsaw Training for Volunteers

“As the saying goes, ‘I didn’t know what I didn’t know,’” Dan Cassidy said.

Convoy of Hope recently held a chainsaw training session for volunteers who are now ready to clean up debris, road hazards, and disaster zones. Dan was one of many who participated. He has led and engaged in several volunteer training sessions and has worked closely with Convoy over the years.

“You can’t help but be impressed by the people, processes, and equipment that are ready to hit the road on short notice,” Dan said. “All too often, we focus on tragedy rather than triumph.  Amazing work is done to help those in need and Convoy of Hope has the infrastructure in place to deploy resources very quickly.”

Every second counts when disaster strikes. That’s why Convoy of Hope stays prepared to respond to both domestic and international disasters. Sharpening skills and maintaining equipment ensures that Convoy can help those in need as quickly as possible.

“Preparation paves the way for timely assistance,” said Dan.

The volunteer training took place over two days. Participants spent time in the woods and in classrooms learning how to maintain their equipment, sharpen chainsaw blades, efficiently cut trees, and practice proper safety procedures. 

Dan explained that the training course was not easy, but it left him feeling prepared, well-educated, and inspired to help those in need. 

“Driving home following the course, I was hot and tired,” he said. “But it felt good to be a small part of such a great team.” 

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Disaster Services / Volunteering

Goodness, Groceries & Generosity Spread Hope

“When a person feels seen [and] recognized, it’s a game-changer,” said Pastor Beau Norman of The Hill in Stockton, Missouri.

As Norman partners with Convoy of Hope, he gladly practices what he preaches. Convoy delivered a tractor-trailer of food, water, and other necessities that Pastor Norman and his team placed into dozens of boxes. Together, he and his congregation organized a community grocery distribution.

Norman instructed his congregation to find individuals and families who would be grateful to receive a box of groceries. Some were neighbors, little league coaches, and service workers. Others were displaced individuals in need.

He and his team also made sure to allow for personal connection. The goal of the grocery distribution was not just to provide for people’s immediate needs, but also to show them that others in their community care.

For many, the groceries they received were helpful, but the time Norman’s team took to acknowledge and appreciate them was what truly gave them hope.

“We’re going to learn that we can reach our world with little things,” Norman said. “Hope was spread through conversation.”

Thanks to your support, volunteers, partners, pastors, and community leaders are sharing hope around the world. Together, we are changing the world — one connection at a time.

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Rural Initiatives

Supplying Hope to Rural America

Part of Convoy of Hope’s mission is to reach people exactly where they are. Through Rural Initiatives, we resource, empower, and partner with rural churches through training, mentoring, and coaching. We believe their increased presence and partnership with local leaders will help strengthen and enrich communities. 

People don’t want to show that they have that need,” said Tiffany Wisdom, volunteer at The Well Rural Resource Center. “[But] we want to help you! This is why we are here.”

 

 

Chip Sanders is the pastor at First Assembly in Iberia, Missouri, and is CEO of The Well. He said, For me personally, Convoy of Hope really kind of changed my perspective on the way we do ministry.”

Like Convoy of Hope, Chip is committed to meeting people where they are. He and his wife, Rebecca, are using the supplies Convoy of Hope provided to connect with people in their community. Surrounding community leaders also come to them for supplies to do the same in their rural communities.

It [Rural Initiatives] just helped us to crystallize our thinking as far as compassion — being the heart of what we do as a church in our community. Partnerships and relationships are really the heartbeat of what we do. Our goal is to bring change, and we can’t do it by ourselves,” said Chip.

Close to 350 counties in the U.S. are considered low-income. Of those counties, 300 are rural. With partners like The Well, Convoy of Hope will continue its mission to help people in need — both worldwide and in rural America. Thank you for helping us bring hope to the hurting.

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Rural Initiatives

Convoy of Hope & Life360 Share Compassion with Rural Communities

“It’s amazing what all comes through and how we can use odd donations [to] make a big impact in a small town,” said Jeremy Hahn, Pastor and Executive Vice President of Life360 church.

Jeremy, with the help of several others, transformed an old grocery store into a massive assembly line of food, hygiene items, practical items, socks, and even teddy bears. The operation stretches to 72 towns across southern Missouri and is starting to expand into Arkansas, Kansas, Arizona, and likely Tennessee.

We pack out of this location for about 15 different schools around the Springfield, Missouri, metro area,” Jeremy said. Convoy of Hope helps make the work possible. 

Convoy of Hope is a big partner for us, and to be able to get this done is incredible,” Jeremy said. “Every kid will eat, but we have the opportunity through Convoy of Hope and our partners to provide other things.”

This work was all born out of Convoy of Hope’s Rural Initiatives program.

“They started training me on these ideas of flying kite strings into the communities. And we started with that model right here in northwest Springfield,” he said. “[We] quickly realized … their focus was rural communities, and that was part of our vision as well. So we took that into our rural model. It is just incredible to see how quickly a rural community will respond.”

Life360 is feeding children across several states in rural schools where there is a free and reduced lunch rate of more than 50 percent. The entire school district receives food and other necessities in the classroom, which guarantees each child gets to eat.

“Our people are all about transforming their community. Our foot in the door is to feed kids, house, educate, and empower them,” he said.

Thank you to all of our partners like Life360 who help us share light and hope to children in rural communities around the world.

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Rural Initiatives