Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s initiatives, community events, and disaster response. Since being founded by Hal Donaldson in 1994, more than 100 million people have been served throughout the world by Convoy of Hope.
A Convoy of Hope Community Event is a united act of compassion helping families in need. Convoy of Hope’s community events team works in advance with community leaders and stakeholders forming partnerships that build the foundation for their outreach events. Partnerships with local government, over 100 organizations, 60 churches, and numerous businesses are crucial to the success of an outreach event; which, in Chicago, is where John Burns Construction Company (JBCC) enters the picture. Dedication to the cause far exceeds what appears to be a single-day event with nearly 10,000 people in attendance. Convoy of Hope events are created primarily through the involvement of the community with 20 or more volunteer teams taking on the bulk of the planning. JBCC is the volunteer team leader for the Operations and Logistics Team with planning work beginning in March. No less than 30 people attend evening meetings held at local churches with locations scattered around the city to encourage participation. As a local partner, JBCC works to facilitate tangible donations for Convoy of Hope – generators, forklifts and carts, pallets, dumpsters, fencing, etc. Their goal is to save the funds for the people in the community who need it. Volunteers are an important part of all community outreach events. Over 1,500 volunteers are present to welcome the thousands of Guests of Honor who attend to experience a day filled with free food, services, and hope. The heart and soul of every community event is compassion. Many Guests of Honor are working families living in, or on the fringes, of poverty. The community event gives them a hand during difficult times. At the 2018 event, the first family arrived at 6:00 am; more than 1,200 individuals lined up before the gates opened at 9:00 am. More than 7,700 Guests of Honor receive two bags of groceries, health services, prayer, haircuts, lunch, veteran services, music, a kids’ carnival, children’s shoes, job and career services, family portraits and more – at no charge. Approximately $1 million worth of goods and services are provided to the 5,000-10,000 Guests of Honor who attend each event. “As it’s held in August, we help kids who will be going back to school with a backpack filled with supplies and, perhaps, their first new pair of shoes. We might watch a family get their first family portrait taken and that’s powerful. There’s something important about giving back to the community you serve,” stated Robbie Sonnemann, Construction Manager for JBCC. For the 2018 event, 850 family portraits were taken and 6,000 backpacks, over 9,000 bags of groceries and more than 3,000 pairs of children’s shoes were distributed. Robbie has found community ties not only help keep their team motivated, but have proven to be a determining factor in recruiting new employees as recent graduates entering the workforce are drawn to businesses who give back. Unique Way to Give In 2016, JBCC launched a unique way for their employees to donate to charitable organizations. Employees can donate a set amount from each paycheck to a designated charity. According to Tara Szwabowski, Accounting at JBCC, 15 employees are currently participating in the program which has resulted in $8,000 being donated in the past two years, with $7,000 of the total donated specifically to Convoy of Hope, both locally and globally. The next Chicago event is scheduled for August of 2020 in Marquette Park. If you are within the Chicago area and would like to participate, please contact If you would like to learn more about adding a donation option through payroll, please contact Tara at
To learn more about Convoy of Hope, what they do, how you can get involved, and their schedule of events across the U.S. and internationally, visit

2019 US Community Event Schedule

June 1: Woodbridge Community Event – Woodbridge, VA June 15: NW Arkansas Community Event – Springdale, AR July 13: Dover Community Event – Dover, DE July 20: Wichita Community Event – Wichita, KS July 27: Orlando Community Event – Orlando, FL August 24: Big Island Community Event – Hilo, HI August 24: Bartlesville Community Event – Bartlesville, OK August 31: Oahu Community Event – Honolulu, HI September 7: Cleveland Community Event – Maple Heights, OH September 14: Snohomish County Community Event – Everett, WA September 21: Flint Community Event – Flint, MI September 28: Fort Worth Community Event – Fort Worth, TX November 2: Albuquerque Community Event – Albuquerque, NM November 23: San Jose Community Event – San Jose, CA Visit the website for dates and locations of international events
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