Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shine Your Light Wed: Convoy of Hope

(Throughout this post will be pictures of Haiti that Convoy of Hope has given me permission to use.  Some of these pictures are graphic, so I give warning before you read, in case you have a child in the room.)  

Convoy of Hope is an organization that I've been learning more about since the earthquake struck in Haiti.  They are down there right now, and at last update, they had distributed at least 229,496 meals from 9 different locations and installed 30 water filters. 

Started in 1994, their mission is simply this: The mission of Convoy of Hope is simple - we exist to feed millions of people in need in the United States and around the world through children’s nutrition initiatives, citywide outreaches and disaster response.  

I think the thing that struck me the most was that their founder, Hal Donaldson, had lost his father in an accident when he was just a little boy, and his mother had such extensive injuries that they were struggling.  With the help of local churches and neighbors, though, they were provided with food and shelter, and this instilled, in Hal, a sense of determination and drive to help those in need.  As a result, Convoy of Hope came to being.  It goes to show that the influence you have on people in your life can have far-reaching effects.

Headquarters located in Springfield, MO place Convoy of Hope in a prime location for their trucks to be able to pick up/deliver supplies.  Their distribution center/warehouse is about 300,000 square foot, in which to store food and relief supplies.  They also have a fleet of trucks to deliver these supplies (which was exciting to me because half of my family are truck drivers, and I really want to tell them about this).  

Convoy of Hope not only responds to disasters and helps prepare communities for disasters through their H.O.P.E. Begins Here program (they responded to Hurricane Katrina and are now in Haiti), but they work in different communities each year, bringing hope and compassion through their many volunteers.  

They help to provide food/hot meals, clean water, medical/dental screenings, haircuts, groceries, etc.  They also help connect the people they help with local churches and organizations in their own community, as well as help them with job placement.  Each person is treated with much respect and compassion. 

They also work with communities to become sustainable, not only through drilling wells and installing water filters, but through providing vegetable seeds and agricultural info.  They have a global nutrition program that feeds 21,000 children every day.  Convoy of Hope has helped more than 30 million people and provided more than 160 million pounds of food.

Convoy of Hope partners together with faith-based institutions, like local churches and schools, in order to do what they do.  They also have worked with organizations like FEMA, FedEx, NVOAD, Assemblies of God, Mercy Medical Airlift, North American Mission Board, etc.  When local churches, organizations, corporations, and government come together, the impact of an outreach or disaster response is significant.  

Convoy of Hope also offers opportunities to those wishing to volunteer and give of their time, compassionate people who truly do want to make a difference.  
You can give a donation to Convoy of Hope (which is tax-deductible).  You can also volunteer with Convoy of Hope.  Here in Springfield, they have the Hands of Hope project every Tuesday night, in which volunteers can help to pack, sort, and work with the relief shipments that are getting ready to go out.  Children can even go, but if your child is under the age of 12, you need to accompany them.  You can contact Convoy of Hope to find out more about this if you live in the Springfield area.  Another thing I'm excited about is their Convoy Go Teams, teams of volunteers who go when disaster strikes.  

My husband and I were just talking about doing something like this the other night, especially since I'm a nurse, and he has experience in construction/technical aspects.  You can find the application for the Go Teams here. Convoy of Hope also puts together international teams to go for 8-10 days.

In fact, they are in Haiti right now, as mentioned above.  They are providing food to people and trying to keep it organized, so that things don't get out of hand.  

Each person who comes through the gate receives two packs of Feed My Starving Children fortified rice and soy protein meal package, which contains six meals per packet.  
They've also installed clean water filters, since the lack of clean water in Port-au-Prince has become a major problem, so much so that officials are worried that they are going to begin seeing disease spread.  You can read more news headlines from Haiti.  You can also follow Convoy of Hope on both Facebook and Twitter.  That way you can get the latest status updates of their work in Haiti right now.

I hope this has enlightened you as to one organization that is on the ground in Haiti right now and how this organization blesses so many people through its continual efforts.  Remember to shine your light!   


mommaof4wife2r January 27, 2010 at 9:18 AM  

thank you for posting this...and for stopping by my bloggy too! there is so much need and so much desperation in haiti that it can be overwhelming to some and this is a narrow focus of exactly how one can help. good work!

The Kimbles January 27, 2010 at 9:42 PM  

Following from MBC FFF. :)


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