Tag: Kindness Changes Everything

Volunteering with Convoy of Hope

Volunteers are at the heart of everything Convoy of Hope does. From bagging groceries for Community Events around the country to removing debris after a devastating storm, Convoy of Hope volunteers walk hand in hand with us to help those in need.

We asked a few of our wonderful volunteers to share why they’re passionate about bringing help and hope to impoverished, hungry, and hurting people around the world.

Linda McCalister, a Convoy of Hope volunteer, has served as a community event lead volunteer for two years, volunteers at Hands of Hope, and serves with Convoy:Women. When asked why she would encourage someone to volunteer with Convoy, she says, “You will make some new friends, learn new things, and join an organization that opens the door to hope for thousands — if not millions — of people. It will change your life.”

COMMUNITY EVENTS

At Convoy of Hope Community Events, guests receive free groceries, health screenings, haircuts, career services, and much more. Linda recalls a story from one event of a mother and her young daughter who had walked two miles to a local Community Event so they could receive shoes.

“All she had to wear were plastic shoes that wore blisters on her feet to the point she could not even try on the [new] shoes. The volunteer found the right shoes for the little girl and bandaged her blisters. Then they connected her with someone who gave them a ride home! Something so small that meant so much.”

In 2018, Communities Events served more than 96,000 Guests of Honor at 62 community events in 48 cities. These events would not have been possible without the nearly 28,000 volunteers who partners with Convoy of Hope.

HANDS OF HOPE

On Tuesday nights, Convoy of Hope opens the doors of our World Distribution Center in Springfield, Missouri, and welcomes volunteers in for a weekly volunteer opportunity called Hands of Hope. Volunteers help sort, pack, count, and label items that are distributed throughout the world.

“It’s a great opportunity to serve and provide others in the local community and around the world with the essential items they might not have been able to get,” says Connor Louthan, a lead Hands of Hope volunteer.

In 2018, Hands of Hope partnered with more than 5,500 volunteers who invested more than 12,500 hours during the year.

FIELD TEAMS

Gerald Norz, another Convoy of Hope volunteer, has served on multiple Field Teams during the past five years. He loves working with partners in the field, saying one of his most memorable experiences volunteering with Convoy is, “seeing the children waving as we arrived at the site in Tanzania … such a great welcome and such warm smiles.”

Eighty-two Field Teams — comprised of more than 1,000 volunteers — served in 11 countries around the world in 2018. These teams serve people through projects and interaction connected to Convoy’s Children’s Feeding and Agriculture programs.

***

Community Events, Field Teams, and Hands of Hope are just three of several volunteer opportunities with Convoy of Hope. Whether it’s driving a Convoy of Hope truck, answering phones, or deploying with our Disaster Services team, every volunteer makes a difference in a person’s life through the service they provide. In 2018, we had more than 57,000 volunteers serve domestically and internationally. We are so thankful for each person who serves with their heart and their time! Visit convoyofhope.org/volunteer to learn more about how you can volunteer at Convoy of Hope.

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Community Outreach / Join the Convoy / Volunteering

The Extra Mile

Smoke and dust twist together lazily on the Honduran road that marks the frontline of poverty for this community. Birds call quietly back and forth to each other over the low rumble of heavy machinery in the distance. On one side of the road is a small, two-room schoolhouse, and on the other a towering hill holding back a mountainous expanse of garbage.

In 2016, six-year-old Ana had a choice to make every day: she could dig for recyclables to sell so she could eat, or she could go to school and learn. Hunger won out a majority of the time, and she regularly spent her days combing through the dump looking for things to sell.

“One day, Ana’s mother sent her to school, thinking that we would feed her,” said Principal Katherine Mejia. “It was a Monday, so Ana hadn’t eaten all weekend.”

Weakened by hunger, Ana stumbled to school and dropped into her chair. Ana struggled to concentrate on her lessons as her eyes glazed over. Without warning, she tumbled onto the concrete floor.

Ana was not the only child struggling with hunger at the school. Many came every day with an empty belly. “That was very hard for us, but it was impossible to provide [for them],” said Principal Mejia.

Ana’s case is not uncommon for kids in struggling schools around the world. Soon after Ana’s incident, Convoy of Hope began delivering food to her school. Since then, Ana’s situation has changed dramatically. “Before, when she was hungry, she was super shy. She didn’t talk and stared at the floor,” said Mejia. “So we can see her health is progressing [slowly with proper nutrition], but it’s a long road ahead.”

“Before she can start to learn, she needs to be healthy.”

In 2018, Convoy of Hope reached a milestone goal — feeding 200,000 children throughout the world — two years ahead of the 2020 target.

“The goal Convoy of Hope set in 2016 was a lofty one,” says Convoy of Hope President Hal Donaldson. “At the time, 160,000 children were a part of our Children’s Feeding initiative. Reaching 200,000 seemed like an achievable goal, but one that would certainly take until 2020 to reach.”

The increase of nearly 23,000 children in one year is a direct result of the community surrounding Convoy of Hope. We’ve never been content with the status quo, and we choose to partner with those who feel the same way. Rapid strides in both meal donations and financial support fueled Convoy’s ability to grow and has brought us to where we are today.

Today, Convoy of Hope is operating in 1,131 program centers around the world. In 2018, we began Children’s Feeding interventions in Sri Lanka, India, and Uganda while continuing our work in 11 other countries, including El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Haiti, South Africa, Nepal, and Lebanon.

In addition to leveraging these strategic feeding initiatives, Convoy of Hope has also established complementary interventions in many program countries to foster thriving communities. In 2018, more than 6,400 individuals were engaged in our Agriculture initiative, and more than 6,700 women joined our Women’s Empowerment program.

“We strategically feed children in schools to strengthen our relationship with each community and empower broader impact through families,” says Heath Adamson, Convoy of Hope’s Chief of Staff. “This milestone represents hundreds of communities and thousands of individuals who know their value. Compassion not only makes a difference — it makes the difference.”

For Ana, the food she receives is key to her education … and education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty that has trapped generations of her family. At Convoy of Hope, we believe Ana deserves a bright future, full of opportunity, health, and safety. It’s our privilege to help clear the path that will take her there.

*This story first appeared in the 2018 Convoy of Hope Annual Report. Find the full report at convoyofhope.org/annualreport.

 

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
25 Stories That Shaped Convoy of Hope / Children's Feeding

Convoy of Hope serves thousands at Puerto Rico community outreaches

Convoy of Hope put on community outreach events in five communities across Puerto Rico at the end of 2018. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, more than 2,000 guests were served in areas where Convoy has been active since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017.

Many Puerto Ricans have continued to struggle to put their lives back together after the hurricane. Stories of homelessness or a lack of running water or electricity were common as families received much needed resources.

In addition to free haircuts, health services, groceries, and more, guests commented on feelings of hope they wanted to carry with them long after the events were over. The kindness of those in their own communities and those across the world who support Convoy of Hope gave guests a renewed hope for the future.

Convoy of Hope plans to put on approximately 40 more Community Events in 2019. Learn more about these events and where they will be located at convoyofhope.org/events.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Community Outreach

Baskets of Hope

Spreading hope in a community can seem like a daunting task, but as Hope Church in Caledonia, MO. learned, all you need to do is show a little love and compassion.

After attending a Rural Compassion training with Convoy of Hope, Pastor Dale Stringer began serving his community through treat baskets. With some snacks provided by Convoy of Hope, Stinger and his church began filling baskets with treats and taking them to areas of their community. They brought baskets to the local school, fire department, police station, city hall, pregnancy resource center and even business owners in town.

As they continued to deliver baskets around town, they began to run out of the supplies provided by Convoy. However, the church was so excited about serving their community that instead of waiting for another delivery from Convoy they began buying snacks on their own to put into the baskets.

“We really had so much fun going around handing stuff out and blessing people,” Stringer says.

Soon people all over Caledonia knew Stringer and his church members. They looked forward to the basket deliveries. One business owner even began referring to Stringer as “Mr. Hope”.

 

Opportunities for Hope

As the group continued to serve their community, they saw new ways to spread hope. A few people noticed some community members had trouble getting into a local restaurant, as it didn’t have a wheelchair accessible ramp. So they went back to Hope Church and the congregation raised the funds to build the ramp. Church members also went and personally poured the new concrete ramp at the restaurant.

The community of Caledonia now knows that the people at Hope Church are people they can rely on.

“The basket ministry launched us into this civic duty. The town comes to us for help and knows they can depend on us,” Stringer says.

It doesn’t take much to bring hope to your community. In the words of Pastor Stinger, “a lot of it is just showing love and compassion”.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Rural Compassion

3 ways you can help Convoy of Hope empower women

Last week we saw incredible support for women on International Women’s Day. We at Convoy of Hope believe that when women are given strength and dignity, it not only impacts their families, but their entire communities as well. This is why we empower women each day to make strategic, independent life choices — and we want your help!

Women in developing countries often lack the education, opportunity and confidence to support themselves and their families. With your support, Convoy of Hope can help train women in necessary nutrition, health and everyday skills, and even help them to start their own business.

Here are 3 ways you can help empower women with Convoy of Hope:

1. Spread the word as an advocate

Being an advocate is one of the easiest ways to make an impact! Just by talking about the women who need support and raising awareness for their situation, you are supporting them. This can be as easy as telling a friend about the Women’s Empowerment program over coffee or sharing a woman’s story with a post on Facebook.

2. Throw a party

A Party2Empower is a party with a purpose! Gather your friends and neighbors to learn about some of the women who’s lives were changed through Women’s Empowerment, while enjoying activities themed from their stories. Not only is this a good way to spread the word, but it is a great opportunity to get your friends actively involved in this great cause. Learn more about throwing your own party to empower at convoy.org/women.

3. Donate

Whether its a one-time gift or a monthly commitment, your donation goes to significantly impact a woman’s life. A one-time gift of $25 would sponsor a girl in our Empowered Girls Program — helping her to attend weekly meetings where she would learn about topics like health, hygiene and harmful cultural practices, as well as helping her finish school and pursue job opportunities. A recurring monthly gift of $25 for a year would provide seed capital for a woman to start her own business. You can donate online at convoy.org/donate/IWD.

Learn more about how you can get involved with Convoy’s Women’s Empowerment program at convoy.org/women.

COMMENT
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • Pinterest
Join the Convoy / Women's Empowerment