By Hal Donaldson
One of Convoy of Hope’s first Community Events took place in Watts, California, in 1995. That day, thousands of honored guests gathered to receive groceries and to hear local musicians perform on a makeshift stage.
Tears came to my eyes that day as I watched hurting families descend on a neighborhood park — just so they could have something to eat. I stood at the entrance and welcomed guests … and listened to their stories. I was struck by the reality that these families were not homeless or unemployed. Instead they worked full-time jobs and ensured their children attended school.
That day our eyes were opened to the plight of working poor families, who typically don’t have access to many social services. They struggle each week to put food on the table and clothing on their children. Day-to-day, they don’t know if they’ll have enough gas to get to work or enough soap to do their laundry.
For nearly 20 years now, Convoy of Hope has served these families by providing groceries, medical and dental screenings, job fairs, haircuts, shoes, clothing, and more. In the last few years, we have added family portraits, and, through a partnership with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, began providing free screenings and mammograms.
To date, hundreds of thousands of guests across the U.S. and Europe have received much-needed help through the united efforts of churches, businesses, civic organizations, and local government. And hundreds of thousands of volunteers have given of their time to distribute millions of dollars in assistance. Together they have put smiles on the faces of families who just needed to know someone cares.
But please know none of this would have been possible without friends like you who have given faithfully so others can receive real help and experience God’s love. Thank you for caring and giving.