Tag: Giving

A Big Impact in Rural America

Cities, urban areas, metropoles — they’re full of community centers, places where groups can meet, those in need can receive help and communities can grow and thrive. So, where do you go in a small, rural town? The local church.

Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion Initiative reaches out to those in need through organizations local to the area. The local church often offers space, volunteers and a leader with a heart to help their community.

One of Convoy’s great partners is Tommy Hayes, the Assemblies of God North Texas Rural Ministry Coordinator. According to Hayes, many of the pastors and churches he works with already hold the desire to help their community, but lack the resources to do so. This is where Convoy of Hope comes in.

“The rural church doesn’t have much money to do anything, to buy these big resources,” Hayes said. “But Rural Compassion supplies the resources to be able to do this with very little and make a big impact.”

Convoy of Hope is proud to have partnered with more than 1,200 churches and organizations in 2017 around rural America. Through these churches, the Rural Compassion Initiative has been able to distribute more than 90,000 pairs of shoes, 1,000,000 meals and other resources to those in need.

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Rural Compassion

Rural Compassion combats poverty

Imagine being 12 years old, waking up early for school because you have to walk to get there. You squeeze into a pair of shoes that once fit, when you originally got them, but are now too tight. There’s a hole in one sole and a tear on the other, but they’re all you have and your family can’t afford a new pair. This is a real situation for too many kids living in rural America today.

In 2016, 15.8 percent of people living in Rural America were living in poverty. That is three percent more than the national average of 12.7. This high poverty rate is underlined with a greater lack of resources. For most living in rural areas, the closest career center or food bank may be hours away depending on how close the nearest metro area is. Many of those in need also do not have access to a car, making those resources even harder to get to.

With a lack of resources in smaller towns, many look to churches as community centers. Convoy of Hope’s Rural Compassion Initiative resources and partners with rural churches. Through training, mentoring and coaching, Convoy helps churches strengthen their communities. We do this through partnerships with community stakeholders, shoe and backpack distributions in schools and feeding programs.

If you have a heart for rural America, one of the best ways to help is to spread the word. When many think of high-poverty areas, they don’t picture “small town America.” Changing this preconception and helping inform others is big step a toward helping working poor families in need.

You can also donate to support Rural Compassion here.

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