Tag: Kindness Changes Everything

Clean Water & Pervasive Hope Flow Freely in El Salvador

Health, hope, and safe drinking water are closely linked. That’s why Convoy of Hope has partnered with companies like LifeStraw to provide help to people without a source to clean water.

After Tropical Storm Amanda struck El Salvador in June of 2020, many communities watched flood waters rise and limit their access to clean drinking water. Everyone affected by the storm found themselves at much greater risk for water-borne illnesses.

To address this need, LifeStraw donated LifeStraw Community units for our team in El Salvador to distribute to those affected by water insecurity. Many of the communities who received filtration units lived with an ever-present fear of parasitic infections and kidney failure.

The LifeStraw Community units are designed to remove 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoan parasites by filtering 25 liters of water at a time. The units use gravity filtration to mitigate the need for running water or an external power source and can safely filter enough water for 100 people a day for up to five years.

When communities receive hope like this, they have more than just their immediate needs met. One community continued to spread hope by sharing clean water with others who were still in need.

Water is a daily necessity that sustains in the present; hope is a necessity for a brighter future. Together, they are life-changing. Thanks to our partners and supporters, Convoy of Hope has been changing the stories of people who lack access to water and new opportunities.

To learn more about World Water Day and what water means to communities around the world, click here. For more information about LifeStraw, click here.

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Disaster Services / Partner Spotlight

Cultivating Vegetables & a Brighter Future

Rosa politely smiled as she showed her mother how to plant tomato seeds. The Honduran tween talked about the importance of the soil, how deep the holes for each seed should be, and how often they should be watered.

This skill is just one of the many that Rosa is learning in her Girls’ Empowerment group, a vital part of Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment initiative.

“I was very shy and insecure of myself. I did not think I could change,” she said. “But when I entered the club, I made many friends. I work better with people and now I am stronger. They have helped me with my personal development.”

The past year has been brutal for those living in Honduras. As the second-poorest country in Central America, the economic fallout that came during COVID-19 sent many of its residents deeper into poverty. Hurricanes Eta and Iota — both doing extensive damage across Central America — destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. With so much fear and uncertainty, many are living without hope.

For Rosa, her Girls’ Empowerment group acts as a shelter from the storms of life. “My teacher talks to us a lot and gives us confidence to talk to her about things that make me feel insecure. The agriculture program has helped me to keep busier. It has benefited me and my family in eating healthy.”

Without Girls’ Empowerment, Rosa would be missing a vital link to community in a time where it’s needed most. Thank you for giving her the chance to thrive.

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Agriculture / Women's Empowerment

Storm After Storm, Hope Remains

“The wind was terrible,” Christian said with a somber look on his face. “As the storm grew stronger and stronger … me and my wife were both holding the French doors shut.”

No sooner had survivors like Christian begun assessing the damage Hurricane Laura caused than Convoy of Hope sprang into action. Hurricane Laura was one of 26 disasters in the U.S. that Convoy of Hope responded to in 2020. Additionally, we responded to 36 disasters overseas, serving more than 1 million people internationally and more than 4.5 million people domestically.

Christian and his wife were trapped in their home when Hurricane Laura struck. Back in 2005, Christian and his family found themselves in a similar situation. Hurricane Rita decimated the Lake Charles area of Louisiana, leaving many without food, water, shelter, or other necessities. It was then that Christian had his first experience with Convoy of Hope.

“Convoy of Hope helped us tremendously. They were our lifeline for three weeks,” he said.

After Hurricane Laura dissipated, more than 450 volunteers distributed close to 1.6 million pounds of resources to people in need. In order to give back after his experience in 2005, Christian decided to become a volunteer with Convoy of Hope.

“As we give food, as we give water, people receive the help, I think it gives a little hope,” Christian said.

Because of volunteers like Christian and supporters around the world, Convoy of Hope served nearly 60,000 individuals across 16 cities in Louisiana. Thank you for helping us provide hope in every storm.

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Disaster Services / Field Story

How to change the world in 2021

It’s a new year and many of us need a fresh start. Whether it’s setting up ways to be more generous, finding new opportunities to volunteer, or being proactive in your kindness, here are several ways you can make 2021 the year you start changing the world for the better.

 

Smart Giving

Use these apps and platforms to make being generous even easier!

  • RoundUp – Use this app to “round up” your purchases to donate a few cents each time you make a transaction. It might not seem like a lot, but your donation will go a long way and we’re thankful for every penny.
  • Amazon Smile – By selecting Convoy of Hope in your Amazon Smile profile, a portion of every purchase you make helps us serve those in need.
  • Alexa – If you use any Alexa-enabled device, simply say, “Alexa, make a donation to Convoy of Hope,” and they will help you donate any amount using your Amazon Pay account.
  • PayPal, Amazon Pay, & Apple Pay – Convoy of Hope is an option for giving on each of these platforms.
  • Recurring Donation – You can set up a recurring on Convoy of Hope’s website to donate whatever amount you choose each month to help us in our mission to feed the world.

 

Volunteering

Search around your local community for ways to volunteer your time or look for opportunities to help your favorite organization from the comfort of your own home. Here’s how you can volunteer with Convoy of Hope:

  • Build Hygiene & Baby Care Kits – Visit convoyofhope.org/kits for instructions on how to build these kits from simple items you can buy from your local store. Then, pack them up and ship them to Convoy’s headquarters, where our staff will help to distribute the kits across the world.
  • Learn about Convoy of Hope’s volunteer opportunities at events or our headquarters at convoyofhope.org/volunteer.

 

For more ways to make a positive impact on the world this year, follow us (@convoyofhope) on social media.

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Join the Convoy / Volunteering

Josefina’s Story

Josefina dons her blue apron — embroidered with “Convoy of Hope” on the front — and starts the tour of her tienda. The mild Nicaraguan winters mean she can leave her front door open for potential customers.

“I started off selling ice, but now I’ve invested in other things to sell,” she explains. “I have chickens I can sell for meat and eggs. I also sell popsicles and other goods. My goal is to expand this and own my own grocery store.”

Josefina looks taken aback as she speaks, almost as if she can’t believe what she’s saying. That’s because she was in a very different situation only one year ago. Unable to buy groceries without going into debt, she enrolled in Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment initiative as soon as she knew it was a possibility.

“I participated, and I didn’t miss any of the sessions,” she says with a laugh.

After she graduated, she opened her shop and saved money. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Several medical emergencies took place in her family that she was able to pay for without going into debt — something she never would have been able to do before opening her business.

As Josefina walks around her store, she points proudly to a piece of paper hanging on the wall. It’s the diploma she received when she graduated from the Women’s Empowerment program. With tears in her eyes, she says, “I want my children to be in school and study, so they don’t have to struggle the way I have.”

Thanks to Convoy of Hope’s Women’s Empowerment program, women around the world like Josefina are ending the cycles of poverty in their families and communities, while also cultivating hope for future generations.

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Women's Empowerment