Convoy plans on bringing hope to struggling families, individuals

DOVER — It has been more than a year in the making, but the Convoy of Hope is all set to roll into Dover to offer a variety of goods and services to families and individuals who might be struggling to meet their physical needs and get by.

The first Convoy of Hope in Delaware will get underway on Saturday, July 13, at 10 a.m. on Legislative Mall at 410 Legislative Avenue in Dover — just look for the multitude of 40-by-60 square-foot tents.

“The upcoming event is really about a day of hope for our community,” said Cornelius Murphy, co-coordinator for the Convoy of Hope. “It’s about community coming together and helping the community.

“We’re partnering with Convoy of Hope and working with local churches, business owners and local officials. The Convoy of Hope Dover will bring together resources to assist with those in need.”
Best of all, it’s free.

Michael Redmon, vice president of community events for Convoy of Hope, said the organization’s events are “a united act of compassion that helps families in need.”

Local churches, businesses, community service and health organizations partner with Convoy of Hope to provide guests with groceries, medical and dental screenings, prayer, haircuts, lunch, veteran services, music, a kids’ carnival, children’s shoes, job and career services, community services, family portraits, and more – at no charge.

“We may not be able to change the choices people make, but we can definitely increase the choices that they have,” Mr. Redmon said.
The Convoy of Hope hosted 62 community events last year and had 27,700 volunteers who served 96,488 Guests of Honor.

Alyssa Babuca, co-coordinator of the Convoy of Hope Dover, said they expect to have upwards of 1,000 volunteers helping at the event in the capital city. They anticipate providing help and services to around 3,500 people — and, perhaps most importantly, hope.

“I’m super excited about it,” Ms. Babuca said. “We’ve been planning this since June 5th of last year and it’s been a year of my life. It’s just people looking forward to helping people meet some of the physical needs that they have.

“I don’t have an expectation because I know it’s going to be blown out of the water. I’m looking forward to seeing lives changed.”
Ms. Babuca expects an estimated $1 million worth of goods and services will be provided to the attendees of the Dover event.

Mr. Murphy said the event’s goal “is that every guest be valued, respected and treated as a Guest of Honor.”
It’s not too late to volunteer.

Volunteers 13- to 17-years-old may work in any area of service they choose but every minor volunteer must have a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian. Safety volunteers must be 18 or older. Those that are ages 10 to 12 may volunteer but must remain with a parent or guardian throughout the event. Volunteers must be at least 9.

A Volunteer Rally will be held Friday, July 12, at the Pentecostal of Dover Church at 4462 W. Denneys Road in Dover. T-shirts will be issued that day to be worn the day of event.
For information about volunteering for Convoy of Hope Dover, visit their website at convoy.org/dover.

It was a personal experience that touched Mr. Murphy and Ms. Babuca when they attended a similar event like the Convoy of Hope last year.
“It was so inspiring for us we felt it was something we needed within Dover,” Mr. Murphy said. “It really touched our hearts to see people coming and just receiving things they needed and having the community work together, it was just wonderful. It was kind of the ideal of what a community should be.

“I think this will bring unity within our community and we look forward to it.”

Ms. Babuca admits the preparation has been a lot of work, but she cannot wait to see the faces of the lives that will be impacted at the Convoy of Hope Dover.

“This is a huge deal, the first Convoy of Hope in Delaware,” she said. “(Dover) Mayor (Robin Christiansen) and state legislators are all behind this event and we’re looking forward to having a successful day on Legislative Mall.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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