State: Missouri

Planes, Trains, and Semi Trucks: The Convoy of Hope team that really delivers

Twenty-five years ago, Convoy of Hope was just a few people with a desire to help others and a pickup truck full of groceries. Today, Convoy of Hope’s famous semitrailers drive hundreds of thousands of miles across the country each year, and we ship food and supplies to more than a dozen countries around the world. Growth like that takes a lot of heart, faith, and hard work by our Supply Chain team.

In the early days of Convoy of Hope, we didn’t know a lot about managing and coordinating facility operations and supplies. We had to learn as we went. We learned how to manage 10,000 square feet of leased warehouse space and a few trucks. When we moved into our 300,000 square foot World Distribution Center, we found ourselves in a whole new playing field.

We continued to learn, and the team grew. Our original crew of one or two people has grown into our current Supply Chain team of 21. They take care of the food, water, and supplies we give out and make sure it all gets to people in need. 

This year, Ginger attended a Convoy of Hope Community Event in Cleveland, Ohio. She went because she needed shoes for her children, but found so much more. “If you have a need for one thing, probably you have a need for two or three other things,” Ginger said. “I really appreciate it.” Those shoes and groceries would never have made it to Ginger and her family without the help of the Supply Chain staff who acquired the goods, packaged them, and delivered them to Cleveland.

Thanks to incredible partners and supporters, Convoy of Hope is bringing in and sending out more product than ever before. In the last 10 years, our yearly Gift-in-Kind (GIK) has increased by nearly $100 million. 

Over the years, our Supply Chain team has fine-tuned their processes and implemented new systems to increase efficiency and make it possible to serve more and more people. They’ve even received awards for their work, such as High Jump’s Customer Innovation Award for Stand-Out Business Benefits in 2018.

Convoy of Hope has served millions of people in the last 25 years and distributed more than $1 billion worth of food and supplies. That would never have been possible without the incredible men and women who work each day to make sure the hope our partners and supporters provide gets to the people who need it most. 

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Staff Spotlight

Hope for the Holidays

As 2019 comes to a close, families around the world are preparing for the upcoming holiday season. For many of the 200,000 children in Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, the hope found in a warm bowl of food each day may be the only gift they receive. The support they receive from supporters like you is what makes the holidays so special.

Nine-year-old Olvin is one of the 11,000 children whom Convoy feeds in Honduras. When he’s not caring for his chickens or attending classes, he is most likely playing soccer with his friends. But the thing he loves most about going to school?

“The food is good!” Olvin says. “Sometimes they give us soup. They give us rice and eggs, too.”

Through Convoy of Hope’s Children’s Feeding program, Olvin receives the nutritious meals he needs to stay healthy and focused. Since starting the program in Honduras in 2011, Convoy of Hope has partnered with more than 100 Honduran communities.

While many are preparing shopping lists and putting up Christmas trees, Olvin’s family is looking forward to their own holiday traditions.

Olvin lives at home with his parents and two younger brothers. His father works long hours, and his mother, Ivania, runs a small business that Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program helped her start. For them, the added support they receive from Convoy has been the glimmer of hope they desperately needed.

“Normally, we can’t give the kids gifts for Christmas,” says Ivania. “But this year, we will be able to give them gifts.”

Like many families, Olvin’s is looking forward to the Christmas season, because everyone is together and they attend church as a family. Ivania loves to prepare the holiday menu, which includes chicken, rice, potatoes, and bread.

“This year is going to be different from other years, though,” Ivania says. “This year, they will get new clothes for Christmas, and I can add a little something to the menu.”

As Convoy of Hope looks back on the last 25 years, we are humbled to be a part of empowering so many families and their communities. While many will struggle to keep food on the table this holiday season, Convoy of Hope continues to fight for the poor and suffering in hopes that families everywhere can “add a little something to the menu.”

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

Beyond the Meal: Convoy of Hope’s Agriculture Program

Convoy of Hope has been feeding families for 25 years, but our mission has never just been about filling stomachs — it’s about transforming communities. When we started our Children’s Feeding program, we knew it couldn’t stop there. We wanted to move beyond the meal, towards sustainability. That’s how our Agriculture program began. 

Dr. Jason Streubel, affectionately known as Dr. Dirt, joined our team in 2011and began transforming the way we looked at agriculture in our international work.

“Agriculture touches every aspect of existence,” Jason says.

What started as one farmer in Haiti with a garden behind his house has now transformed into a co-op with hundreds of farmers, an agriculture education in schools, and a training program that helps pastors pass on agricultural skills to their congregations. 

“Agriculture helps us tap into families as a whole,” says Convoy of Hope’s Senior Director of International Program Partner Relations Kevin Rose. 

Now we have a whole team of agriculture experts working to develop new and lasting ways to break the cycle of poverty in communities around the world. Since our Agriculture program’s implementation, more than 23,000 people have received some form of formal agriculture education through Convoy of Hope in eight countries.

As our program expands, it is interacting with several of our other initiatives. After Cyclone Idai decimated parts of southeast Africa, thousands of families found their homes and their crops destroyed. While our team distributed relief supplies to meet immediate needs, one of our International Disaster Services staff members and agriculture experts, Chris Groh, distributed fast-growing corn seed. This helped families to quickly get back on their feet after the disaster. 

Our Agriculture efforts have also found their way stateside in conjunction with our Community Events. Not only do we hand out gardens-in-a-bag at our events — which offers working families seeds and instructions to create a home garden — but our team is working with partners in Flint, Michigan, to build community gardens. 

Food security is crucial for families around the world. When we help communities increase their food security, it transforms the lives of countless people, lifting them out of dependency. You can learn more about our Agriculture program at convoyofhope.org/ag.

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Agriculture

Makena Goes To The Market

Makena starts her day at the Ewuaso Market in her home country of Kenya. Metal saucepans reflect the beams of sunlight peeking through the shade trees above as neatly packaged bowls, cups, and cooking utensils line tables at her quiet corner store. She laughs and smiles with friends from the community.

But Makena knows struggle.

Just eight months ago, she was staying at home to care for seven of her 10 children. Barely able to provide enough food for her family, she was in desperate need of a second chance. A second chance — like the one she found in Convoy of Hope’s Micro+ program. 

Since completing Micro+, Makena started her own business to provide for her large family. Now, instead of staying home, Makena sells household goods and kitchenware at three weekly markets.

While a lot has changed for Makena and her family, one change stands out the most. “Now there’s plenty of food,” she says with a smile. 

Your kindness has helped break the chains of poverty for Makena and her family. Thank you for empowering women like Makena and providing second chances to families around the world.

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Women's Empowerment

International Day of the Girl – Empowering girls with Convoy of Hope

Melanie,* like many other 13-year-old Nicaraguan girls, wrestles with personal identity in an ocean of images and voices telling her who she “should” be. When she learned that a Convoy of Hope program to empower girls was not only coming to her school but that she was personally being invited to participate, she couldn’t contain her excitement.

Melanie wasn’t simply seeking to feel better about herself. She wanted to flourish. And that’s exactly what she experienced through loving leaders and courageous peers in the program. Over a series of weeks, she found herself exchanging insecurity for confidence and timidity for boldness. Like so many, Melanie is moving from survivability to sustainability! 

As we celebrate International Day of the Girl, Convoy of Hope is proud to join other organizations and groups around the world in empowering girls to realize their value. International Day of the Girl seeks to educate the public on the hardships girls face around the world every day — issues like child marriage, unplanned pregnancy, education inequality, gender-based violence, lack of self-esteem, and personal hygiene. 

Our program to empower girls began in 2010 with a single after-school club at a secondary school in Tanzania where girls were dropping out of school due to pregnancy. Key stakeholders from the community were invited to share their thoughts regarding a range of topics through educational seminars and interactive discussions. 

Since that first group, the program has expanded and evolved. We have established programs in five countries: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Kenya, and the Philippines. Each country has curriculum specific to the needs and issues pertaining to girls in their programs. Sessions can include culturally contextual appropriate topics around self-esteem, gender-based violence, and harmful cultural beliefs and practices. 

Regardless of location, our program provides them with tools and resources to set goals and achieve dreams. We teach these young women that they can have a future where finishing school, going to a university, and starting a career are possibilities, regardless of their circumstances. 

Over the past 25 years, Convoy of Hope has been dedicated to not only feeding the world, but helping individuals and communities thrive. Today, and every day, let’s celebrate girls and empower them to see their dreams become a reality. 

You can learn more about how Convoy is empowering girls at convoyofhope.org/we.

 

 

*Name has been changed.

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25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Women's Empowerment