Tag: Volunteer

Convoy of Hope Hosts Chainsaw Training for Volunteers

“As the saying goes, ‘I didn’t know what I didn’t know,’” Dan Cassidy said.

Convoy of Hope recently held a chainsaw training session for volunteers who are now ready to clean up debris, road hazards, and disaster zones. Dan was one of many who participated. He has led and engaged in several volunteer training sessions and has worked closely with Convoy over the years.

“You can’t help but be impressed by the people, processes, and equipment that are ready to hit the road on short notice,” Dan said. “All too often, we focus on tragedy rather than triumph.  Amazing work is done to help those in need and Convoy of Hope has the infrastructure in place to deploy resources very quickly.”

Every second counts when disaster strikes. That’s why Convoy of Hope stays prepared to respond to both domestic and international disasters. Sharpening skills and maintaining equipment ensures that Convoy can help those in need as quickly as possible.

“Preparation paves the way for timely assistance,” said Dan.

The volunteer training took place over two days. Participants spent time in the woods and in classrooms learning how to maintain their equipment, sharpen chainsaw blades, efficiently cut trees, and practice proper safety procedures. 

Dan explained that the training course was not easy, but it left him feeling prepared, well-educated, and inspired to help those in need. 

“Driving home following the course, I was hot and tired,” he said. “But it felt good to be a small part of such a great team.” 

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Disaster Services / Volunteering

Volunteers Pack Care Kits for Mothers in Need

Volunteers are crucial to Convoy of Hope. Some participate in Community Events, drive tractor-trailers, or clean up after disasters. Mariner’s Church in Irvine, California, recently contributed by packing 2,000 boxes of baby care kits one Sunday afternoon.

“Whether you have a lot of money or not a lot of money, or you have a lot of time or a short amount of time, it’s kind of a perfect volunteer opportunity for anybody,” Debbie Verdecia said.

Debbie is a lead volunteer at Mariner’s Christian Church and has been partnering with Convoy of Hope to host “packing parties” for three years. Her relationship with Convoy began years ago when she joined clean-up crews to serve communities struck by disasters in Houston and the Bahamas.

“To come and fill these boxes is one thing,” she said. “But when you’ve been able to see where it ends up and you’ve been able to see people in real need, that cemented it for me that this is where I want to be.”

The baby care kits that volunteers at Mariner’s Church packed will be distributed to mothers in need after a disaster.

“I think in a disaster situation, there are a lot of things that people lose,” Matt Smith, another volunteer, said. “They lose homes and material possessions, but probably the most difficult thing that they lose sometimes is a sense of hope. And what we’re able to do is come into the situation that’s probably very dark and very desperate and provide some glimmer of light, some glimmer of hope.”Thanks to volunteers like those at Mariner’s Church, thousands of people around the world will be given that hope when they need it most. To find out more about how you can volunteer to pack care kits, click here.

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Join the Convoy

“There’s nothing I can’t do,” Philippines Volunteer with physical disability serves her community

Linda volunteers at one of Convoy of Hope’s many Children’s Feeding program centers based in the Philippines. She was familiar with feeling ashamed of her physical disabilities, but she’s found confidence and purpose by working with Convoy of Hope staff and serving the children in our program.

“There’s nothing I can’t do,” she says.

Watch this video to see how Linda is making a difference through Convoy of Hope.

 

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Program Updates
Sandy Taylor distributes meals during Convoy of Hope's response to COVID-19. Sandy Taylor distributes meals during Convoy of Hope's response to COVID-19.

A Vision For the Future

Just before her 50th birthday, Sandy Taylor — a successful corporate executive — felt oblivious to the suffering in her community and the world.

That year, everything changed when she experienced a life-threatening trauma, resulting in blindness in her right eye. But as her physical vision diminished, the world around her was illuminated. “I began realizing that almost everyone is dealing with something, and I started experiencing a strong compassion for people who were hurting.”

Sandy became involved in Convoy:Women and supporting Women’s Empowerment. “For $1,000, I can change a woman’s life, her family’s life, and an entire community,” she says.

Sandy began considering how she wanted to leave her legacy. “God gave me a peace that I could trust Convoy with the resources He gave me to steward. I want to leave a legacy of compassion and generosity.”

    Here are a few ways to include Convoy of Hope in your legacy and estate planning:

  • Retitle an asset with Convoy of Hope as a transfer on death designation.
  • Name Convoy of Hope as a beneficiary of an IRA account or a life insurance policy.
  • Name Convoy of Hope as a beneficiary of a Donor Advised Fund.
  • Give a gift or bequest from your will or living trust.
  • This story was first published in Convoy of Hope’s Hope Quarterly magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.

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Join the Convoy

Convoy of Hope friend, Vance McDonald, nominated for Walter Payton Award

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Vance McDonald as their nominee for the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. This award recognizes outstanding players for “excellence on and off the field.” Teams select nominees based on the impact they have had on their community. Previous winners include Kurt Warner, J.J. Watt, Joe Greene, and Petyon and Eli Manning.

“It’s well-deserved and not surprising,” Convoy of Hope’s Convoy Nation Vice President Kirk Noonan said. “Vance’s nature is to look out for the poor and suffering, and do whatever he can in his power to advocate for them, to defend them, and to provide for them. That’s just who he is.”

McDonald brought Convoy of Hope to the Steelers in 2019, and again this December for an annual event the team dubbed “Huddle for the Holidays.”

“I want to take my hat off to Vance McDonald, who was the impetus to get this started and partnering with Convoy of Hope,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said of the event.

Huddle for the Holidays was part of Convoy of Hope’s Pro-Series Community Events where Guests of Honor received groceries, shoes, socks, winter wear, hygiene kits, books, and toys.

McDonald also teamed up with Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback of the team, to bring Convoy of Hope trucks to the greater Pittsburgh area four other times throughout 2020 in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Vance is a quality player, a quality teammate, and a quality person,” Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said. “He’s not low maintenance — he’s no maintenance. He uplifts his teammates, just like he uplifts his community.”

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