Big ups, as the kids say, to FOX News for airing a segment this past weekend on Convoy of Hope, the praiseworthy faith-based organization.
My acquaintance with Convoy of Hope dates back five years or so, when I was member of a church that partnered with the charity on an annual community event, reaching out to the poor and needy in surrounding neighborhoods.
The event, financed by a special offering collected by our church, staffed primarily by church volunteers, attracted thousands of mostly struggling families.
Every one of those families was offered free groceries. There was a job fair for those looking for work, as well as free hair cuts and work clothing. There was health screening for those lacking medical coverage, including free mammograms for women. There was day-long entertainment and free bicycles for pre-teens.
Then was a tent for those who wished to have one our pastors or church elders pray over them.
Convoy of Hope was founded in 1994 by Hal Donaldson. Its mission, according to its website, is “to feed millions of people in need in the United States and around the world” through children’s initiatives, citywide outreaches – like the event my old church co-sponsored – and disaster relief.”
Donaldson has a desire to help the least of those among us because of his own first-hand experience growing up in San Francisco. When he was but a boy, his parents were in head-on collision with a drunk driver. His father was killed; his mother was left incapacitated for some time.
That left the Donaldson family needy. But local churches, as well as kindly members of the community, stood in the gap for the family, providing them food and shelter. Those generous acts, according to Convoy of Hope’s founder, gave him and his siblings a sense of hope and hearts to one day help those in need.
And so it is that, since its start-up 18 years ago, Convoy of Hope has provided aid to more than 52 million people in more than 100 countries. That includes roughly $300 million worth of food and supplies.
What I particularly appreciate about faith-based organizations like Convoy of Hope is that they do not slough off to government the obligation that the Christ followers among us have to help the least among us, our brothers and sisters.
Indeed, that’s why Convoy of Hope has undertaken a 50-state “Tour of Help and Hope” this year, which will distribute $50 million worth of goods and services to poor families.
“Government can’t do everything,” Donaldson told FOX News. “That’s what we’re showing with Convoy of Hope, with our 50 state tour. We’re going into communities and showing that neighbors can help neighbors.”
Amen to that.