Giving Back – 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. Founded in 1994, more than 163.7 million people throughout the world have been served by Convoy of Hope. Learn more about their goals and aspirations in the dp-PRO archives (Summer 2019).

Planning for the bi-annual Convoy of Hope Community Event in Marquette Park, scheduled for August 2020, began in 2018. Like the rest of the world, COVID- 19 completely shifted the reality of the event, but the community still desperately needed help. Event planners transitioned to a drive-thru experience, allowing 557 volunteers to serve 1,250 families.

Executing an event of this magnitude was not easy for Convoy of Hope Chicago. With the addition of John Burns Construction Company (JBCC) as a partner, it was made much easier. As the volunteer team leader for the Operations and Logistics Team, JBCC was able to procure the use of essential equipment those in the construction industry might not realize are a gift to an organization like Convoy of Hope. JBCC used their talents and expertise to supply and operate forklifts, pallet jacks, port-a-potty’s, hand washing stations, gators, traffic cones, pop-up tents, wagons, and waste removal. Their familiarity with the use of the equipment and their knowledge in setting up job sites gave tremendous relief to Convoy of Hope planners. As Robbie Sonnemann, Fleet Manager of John Burns Construction, stated, “As a construction company, most of this equipment is sitting in our warehouse. Donating its use and our skills benefits our community and helps us promote our company’s core values.”

The partnership between Convoy of Hope Chicago and JBCC is unique but can be replicated. The pandemic continues to shine a light on the needs within local communities. The damage prevention industry has a rare opportunity to help in a clearly defined way by donating the resources and skills that are the tools of our trade. COVID-19 has demonstrated many companies want to give back and their employees want to get involved, but the struggle to find an organization to partner with can be difficult.

How to get started

• Inventory the equipment, skills, resources, and talents your company and employees have that could be used to meet the needs of your community.

• Explore organizations that could potentially benefit from what you have to offer. Make sure their vision and mission align with the core values of your company.

• Ask employees what matters to them. They may have a connection or know of the perfect service opportunity for your company.

It is always best to start small and build from there. Stick to what you are good at and understand what your limits are. A policy of under-committing and over-delivering will build success and goodwill.

JBCC’s Commitment

JBCC is committed to giving back to the communities it serves. The JBCC Giving Committee focuses financial support on select organizations where they can really make a difference locally. In addition, JBCC and JBCC Giving Committee encourages and supports employees in participating in charity events that make a positive difference in the communities where they live and work. In addition, JBCC and JBCC Giving Committee offers a payroll charitable giving program for their employees. This program generates more than $30,000 a year in charitable giving.

To learn more about participating within the Chicago area, contact Robbie at rsonnemann@jbcco.com. To learn more about a payroll charitable giving program, contact Tara at tszwabowski@jbcco.com.

To learn more about Convoy of Hope, what they do, how you can get involved, and their schedule of U.S. and international events, visit convoyofhope.org.Live help

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