(Photo: Convoy of Hope)
The faith-based relief organization, Convoy of Hope, is making a stop in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday to offer $1 million worth of free goods and services including groceries, haircuts, dental check-ups, health services, workforce development services, and more to residents in need.
"The overall objective is to touch the lives of people in need, people living below the poverty line. We want to touch them with food and services but also touch them with the love of Christ and connect them to a local church," said Jeff Nene, national spokesperson for Convoy of Hope.
The organization expects up to 5,000 to attend the giveaway event dubbed as a "community celebration" that will give nearly 2,000 local community volunteers the opportunity to "share hope and tangible help with neighbors in a spirit of honor and dignity."
"One of our long term goals is to connect the people and organizations in a community so that they can continue to work together, neighbors helping neighbors, and benefit their community as a whole," Nene said. "We hope and plan that long after this event is over, these communities are continuing to work together to serve people in need."
The generous outreach effort in Omaha is just one of many stops that the organization has made throughout the country this year while serving over 85,000 people who have received help in other cities.
"We are in the process of a 50 state tour, taking these outreach events to every state in the country. Our goal is to hit every state at least once over a three year period with one of these outreach events," Nene said.
Prior to becoming a nationwide effort, Convoy of Hope began helping communities by donating groceries to local neighborhoods from the back of a borrowed pick-up truck 20 years ago. Now, they are able to embark on a $50 million tour of hope offering goods to residents as well as providing aid relief to areas hit by natural disasters as they are currently doing with the Colorado flood victims.
"The overall idea is to give people a day full of hope, a day they can spend with their families, having fun and enjoying each other without having to worry about money or how to feed their family while they are out," Nene said. "Another goal is to let our honored guests know they are loved. Not only does God love them, but these volunteers from all sorts of backgrounds and churches love them too."
"The opportunity to provide a day of hope to our city is phenomenal. It is bringing together a number of churches and organizations to do something that none of us could do alone," added Bart Wilkins, lead pastor of Omaha-based Flatland Church. "Everyone who attends, volunteers included, will be impacted in an extremely positive way by the generosity, love and compassion that is going to be displayed. I'm excited to see the smiles on thousands of faces and hear the stories of those touched by this event."
Convoy of Hope is also working with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and Plum Organics at the outreach. NBCF will provide education, support and early detection services to underserved women in the community and Plum Organics will provide guests with their organic baby, toddler and child food products.
The event is scheduled for Saturday at Turner Park at 10 a.m., rain or shine.