I Never Knew
By Hal Donaldson
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, my family and I have so much to be grateful for. I wanted to share the story of some very special members of my family that remind me every day how important it is to be thankful.
The story begins in 1969 when a car accident killed my father and debilitated my mother. My brothers and sister and I were hurting and the biggest question remaining was who would possibly be willing to take four young children into their home.
It was a family named the Davis’ who raised their hand and said they would take us in.
The Davis’ didn’t have a big home; they lived in a small trailer with two children of their own. They didn’t have a big bank account but they had big hearts. I recall that day when we arrived at their trailer and nervously walked up to the front door asking ourselves,
“Do they really want us, will they keep us?” As we approached the front door of the trailer, it swung open and there stood Bill Davis with a warm and inviting smile.
As we shuffled inside, Bill and LouVada gave us big hugs and assured us,
“You are with family and this is your home.”
The Davis’ were not only willing to share their home but also willing to share in our sorrow and pain. They modeled discipline and tough love at times but also true “compassion” which literally means to “suffer with.” To us they modeled what it meant to live life with hope.
And that has been a core value of Convoy of Hope. To be with families after a disaster when they have lost everything. To be with children and their families at our citywide outreaches who are struggling to make it. To be with children that are going hungry and to believe they will one day be the hope for their nation.
When Convoy of Hope was about to cross the threshold of serving 50 million people, we decided to host a celebration in Concord, California, — the town where we grew up but also the place where it seemed hope had been lost one tragic day. Concord also represents where the dream for Convoy of Hope was born. So we called the event, “Celebration of Hope.”
It was an unforgettable evening to see so many friends who encouraged us and supported Convoy of Hope from the very beginning. As the evening was about to conclude there was this family seated off to the right who thought they were there to just share in the celebration but they were the finale — the Davis’ more than 40 years after they changed our lives.
There are many Bill and LouVada Davises here who have faithfully supported Convoy of Hope and other worthy organizations.
We are grateful for past, present and new partners that will join this movement of hope by giving generously.
When we combine hope and compassion and live generously I believe God smiles.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.