Convoy of Hope
Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization founded in 1994 and known for its international programs of feeding and otherwise helping poor people. Based in Springfield, Missouri, it also helps in disaster-relief work and has recently begun a science education program in the United States and elsewhere.
The organization was founded in 1994 to aid in humanitarian relief. It began by serving Mid-America but has now expanded to other areas. Hal Donaldson, a co-founder and chief executive officer, recalled in 2014 that the group was founded in California but moved to Missouri some two years later because of its importance to truck transportation. He chose Springfield because he and his wife had attended Evangel College there.
The Convoy had beginnings in a Christian tradition. Hal Donaldson, who later became a journalist and author, said he and his two brothers, Steve and Dave, and a sister founded the organization a quarter century after their father was killed by a drunk driver and their mother was hospitalized. The siblings, Hal being age 12 at the time, were taken in by neighbors and that response, he said, impelled him to take steps when he grew up to alleviate other people's needs.
Scope of services
Convoy of Hope is noted for its disaster-relief work. In the United States thousands of volunteers were organized into programs that provided, among other things, groceries, résumé advice and dental screenings.
Each year Convoy of Hope sponsors events to provide free groceries, job and health fairs and activities for children. Some of the events:
- Some million dollars in goods and services were handed out in September 2014 at the Convention Center in Sioux City, Iowa, There were also bounce castles, face painting and balloon animals. Children were given free pairs of tennis shoes.
- in 2013, a day-long event was held in the French Hill area of Marlborough, Massachusetts, attracting some thousand people. There was a social services tent and a prayer tent as well.
- In 2011, some 5,300 people gathered in Memorial Park of Rapid City, South Dakota, for a Convoy event featuring blood-pressure and blood-sugar tests as well as physical exams for children. Six thousand bags of food were distributed in a grocery tent. The activity stemmed from "previous local community outreach activity by local faith-based and secular groups."
- In 2010 Convoy of Hope received a federal grant to establish a women's micro-enterprise program in developing nations, beginning with a 10-week endeavor to help women in Ethiopia with basic financial training. More than eleven hundred women were celebrated with a cap and gown ceremony, and the program has been expanded to Tanzania and El Salvador.
- With a regional headquarters in Lucena, Philippines, Convoy of Hope has established a business program for local people and has developed three aquaponics systems for production of tilapia, which provide not only food but also waste products to nourish vegetable and other plants above ground.
- The organization sent out several tractor-trailers of relief supplies to flood-damaged areas in Longmont, Evans, Boulder and other counties in Colorado in September 2013.
- In 2012, Convoy of Hope distributed food, water, flood buckets and other relief supplies in Slidell, Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. In the same year the group had already staged a fleet of tractor-trailers in Pennsylvania when Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast shore of the United States, and "more than $3 million in aid" was brought to victims in New York and New Jersey.
Convoy of Hope and Evangel University, both based in Springfield, have signed an agreement to "increase and improve 'applied science expertise' " in the United States and in Africa, Central America and South Africa. Brittni Woods is the project coordinator.
Convoy of Hope staged a tour across the United States beginning June 16, 2012 in Swope Park, Kansas City, Missouri, where tents were set up and volunteers distributed food, gave haircuts and made job referrals. A similar tour was held in September 2013.
- Paul Kevin Jonas II, Joseph Adam Jonas and Nicholas Jerry Jonas of the singing group Jonas Brothers have been affiliated with Convoy of Hope since 2009. The brothers' Change for the Children Foundation has made grants to the organization.
- Jess Rollins, "Mo. Humanitarian Relief Group Deliver," USA Today, January 1, 2013
- Bob Watson, "Convoy of Hope Leader Urges Cooperation Among All," News-Tribune, January 10, 2014
- Emily Wood, "Convoy of Hope Founder Hal Davidson Shares the Story Behind the Worldwide Charity," KY3 Television, November 26, 2014
- Alex Murashko, "Convoy of Hope: Next Stop Sioux City, Iowa, to Give Away $1 Million in Food, Services," The Christian Post, September 13, 2013
- Brianna Clark, "Convoy of Hope Stops By Siouxland for the Second Time," KTIV.com, September 13, 2014
- Joan F. Simoneau, "Second Convoy of Hope Event Planned in Marlborough," Community Advocate, June 24, 2014
- David Montgomery, "Convoy of Hope Helps Thousands in Rapid City," Rapid City Journal, August 21, 2011
- "Convoy of Hope Returns to Leesburg Sept. 13," Leesburg Today, September 3, 2014
- "Convoy of Hope Fills Need in Mid-South," LocalMemphis.com, September 6, 2014
- "Convoy of Hope Draws Thousands," WHBQ Fox13, September 13, 2014
- Jeff Houghton, "Helping Women Worldwide," 417 Magazine, August 2013
- Maria Neider and Tom Schultheis, "Convoy of Hope Empowers Filipinos With Business Education," KY3 television, November 13, 2014
- Laura Jones, The Global Dispatch, September 20, 2013
- Carol Wolfram, "Convoy of Hope at POD Site on Bayou Lane in Slidell," The Times-Picayune, September 1, 2012
- Charlotte Riley, "Evangel, Convoy of Hope Agree to Work Together," Springfield News-Leader, January 24, 2015
- "Evangel and Convoy of Hope Partner to Make a Global Impact," OzarksFirst.com, January 28, 2015
- Laura McCallister, "Convoy of Hope Provides Outreach to Those in Need," KCTV 5 News, June 16, 2012, updated June 30, 2012
- Jeff Phillips, "Convoy of Hope Honored," KSPR ABC 33, March 14, 2014
- George Lang, "Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers Volunteering in Moore Today With Convoy of Hope," The Oklahoman, May 24, 2013