Tag: kindness

Hands of Hope Volunteers pack meals and kindness

Becky Stegner has been volunteering at Convoy of Hope’s weekly Hands of Hope event for over a decade.

“I think it’s great that people you don’t even know are going to benefit from the projects we did tonight,” Becky remarked while unboxing groceries for an upcoming distribution event. “They’re probably going to be super thankful for it and just think, ‘If somebody took time out of their evening in the middle of the week to help me, I should look for something to do to help somebody else down the road.’”

Although the pandemic has required that volunteer opportunities take on a new form in order to keep participants safe, chances for people to donate their time have not been in short supply. Around the world, Convoy of Hope’s partners have been pitching in to prove that with a little time and effort, you can make a big difference in the world.

“Volunteering is important for Convoy,” Convoy of Hope’s Volunteer Engagement Project Coordinator Bethany Burrows pointed out. “It provides an opportunity for people to give. It’s a great way to easily acquaint people with our initiatives and the vision and heart behind the organization. In general, I love volunteering because it can give people a way to create community and provide purpose and create change in lives with minimal financial and time commitment.”

Bethany went on to explain that volunteer opportunities have helped cultivate some of her closest friendships and shaped her career over the years.

“Our volunteers help contribute to the quality and quantity of the assistance we provide others,” Volunteer Engagement Manager, Laura Tourville added. “We would not be able to accomplish as much we do as an organization without the sacrifice and dedication of our volunteers continually showing up to provide hope to those that need it.”

From Community Events and grocery distributions, kit packing parties, and disaster response initiatives, Convoy of Hope is able to help people because of our volunteers. We are incredibly grateful for the ways our supporters have chosen to give their time throughout the past year, and how they’ve prioritized the safety of those involved.

As a new year begins, we are excited to see how people like you will choose to make a difference.

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Community Outreach / In the News / Inspiration / Join the Convoy

Partner distributes 10,000 pairs of socks from Convoy of Hope

Texas may be known for triple-digit temperatures and cacti, but the winter months can be brutally cold. Temperatures can easily dip below freezing, leaving residents longing for that Texas heat. That’s why Pastor Earl Fitzsimmons of Bring the Light Ministries began participating in Socktober.

Bring the Light Ministries serves approximately 600 homeless people each week. Before this outreach began, those without shelter mentioned to volunteers that they struggle to keep their feet warm during the winter months. Pastor Earl heard their concern and decided to do something about it.

After reaching out to Convoy of Hope and our local partners at Elevate Life Church in Frisco, Texas, a tractor-trailer with 10,000 pairs of socks arrived for Earl and his team to distribute throughout their community.

“It’s not really about socks,” Convoy of Hope’s Partner Engagement Director Rick Zorehkey stated. “Earl’s ministry is going to them, bringing hope. That’s what it’s about.”

As the winter weather persists, Convoy of Hope continues to partner with Elevate Life Church and Bring the Light Ministries to provide help and hope to those in the Frisco area.

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Program Updates

World Kindness Day: Make Kindness the Norm

As we celebrate World Kindness Day, those of us at Convoy of Hope want all of our supporters to remember that the acts of kindness they show every day, no matter how small, make an enormous difference. 

Convoy of Hope recently partnered with the O’Reilly Center for Hope in Springfield, Missouri, to show kindness at their annual Hope Connection event. Hope Connection is a staple for local nonprofits, who join together to provide services to the local homeless population. Like most big gatherings, the format for Hope Connection had to change in big ways during 2020. Instead of meeting on one day in a convention center, the event took place over the course of three separate days to abide by social distancing guidelines and to keep large crowds from gathering. 

During those three days, Convoy of Hope distributed the following to the local homeless population:

  • 300 sets of groceries
  • 600 Theraworx hygiene wipes
  • 3,000 Bombas socks
  • 100 hygiene kits
  • 100 Luminaid lanterns

Bryan came to Hope Connection as part of his restart on life. “I was in prison, got out in January, but lost my job because of COVID-19. I’ve been homeless for a while.”

Thankfully, the resources he’s received through the O’Reilly Center for Hope, which included food and supplies through Convoy of Hope, are setting him up for success. “I thought [the lantern] was really interesting. I’ll find a good use for it.”

People need kindness shown to them now more than ever, and we’re honored to partner with people and organizations who are truly making a difference in their communities.

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Community Outreach

World Refugee Day: Faaiza’s Story

Faaiza is eight years old. Her father holds her close, explains the plan one last time and then tearfully leaves her behind. She watches her parents and siblings make their way through the chaos of the Syrian border into Lebanon. Trucks rumble past and the crowd presses around her, blocking her view. And suddenly, Faaiza’s family is gone — and she is alone.

“My papers were not in order, so they let everyone in my family through except for me,” Faaiza recalls. “I was stuck on the other side of the Syrian border.” This is the life of a refugee. Faaiza’s neighborhood near Aleppo exploded into violence four days before. Having no time to prepare, they fled with all their hands could carry. Their only comfort was the fact they were alive and together — at least until they reached the border.

Stepping out of the view of the guards, Faaiza reaches down and pulls up a handful of dirt from her homeland — Syria. She rubs it on her face and hands, smearing it with the sweat from her long journey. Faaiza tears her clothes and completes the disguise. In just a few moments, she has reduced herself from the daughter of a middle class Syrian plumber to a beggar. With her hands outstretched and her eyes on the barbed wire fence — the only thing separating her from her family — she slips past the guards, crossing into Lebanon by herself. “God helped me find my family,” she says. “He didn’t leave me by myself.”

Convoy of Hope’s team met Faaiza a few years ago as we handed her a small space heater to protect her family from freezing temperatures. Her warm smile cut through the cold wind blowing about the dilapidated Beirut neighborhood where her family lives. For the last few years, Faaiza and her family have been scraping together the pieces of their lives. But, they now have hope for a brighter future. As our team says goodbye to Faaiza, the girl who navigated the border by herself, she turns to her mother and holds out the small space heater. She wants to offer it to another family in their neighborhood whose house isn’t as warm as theirs. Despite all she’s been through, Faaiza’s kindness has never waned.

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Advocacy / Field Story

Transforming the World Because of Your Kindness

In 2016, we saw firsthand that kindness does change everything!

Thanks to you — our loyal friends and generous corporate and ministry partners — we served a record number of people in 2016. We also saw more donated product come in and be distributed through our supply chain than ever before. There were other significant milestones too — including more than 80 million people served since we were founded in 1994.

All of these accomplishments can be traced back to your trust, kindness and partnership.

As a child, my family relied on the kindness of friends and strangers. I can recall days when our shoes had gaping holes in the soles and our cupboards were bare. But what I remember even more were the days when someone would come by with a bag of groceries or a new pair of shoes — just in the nick of time.

I also remember taking part in a program that enabled children, from families like mine, to attend a San Francisco 49ers game. Fast forward 40 some years. Last December, we partnered with the 49ers and their players at Levi’s Stadium to bring much-needed provisions and hope to impoverished families.

As you can see, Convoy of Hope has been — and will continue to be — on the frontlines charging into disparity, hunger, poverty and suffering with the light of kindness, help and hope.

We believe that with your partnership, when the world is the darkest, we can all shine the brightest. Thank you for the trust, financial support, prayers, partnership and for being determined to transform our world with kindness.

God bless you,

Hal Donaldson

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From the Founders