Convoy of Hope to Bring Food, Services to Families in Need
(Memphis) Convoy of Hope, a faith-based charity, will be giving out $1 million worth of food and services on Saturday at the Mid-South Fairgrounds, as the temperatures climb well over three digits.
The event will be held from 10a.m. to 2p.m., and thousands are expected to be there and take advantage of free groceries, lunch, haircuts, dental exams, clothes, and entertainment. There will also be a job fair.
More than 1,500 volunteers from more than 80 churches, companies and organizations will volunteer.
Darwin Boston, the national outreach director for Convoy of Hope, explains that the founder of the group lost his parents at an early age and received tremendous help from his community. He decided to give back.
Boston said, “Literally got a pickup truck, with some friends – they live in California – and went to a needy part of the city, and just screamed out, ‘free groceries!’ That’s how we started.”
Now are there are 10 semi-trucks traveling all 50 states to give to poor communities. But Boston knows Memphis is perhaps in most need of help.
He said that Memphis is the poorest, large metro area in the United States. Memphians below the poverty line could fill FedEx Forum nine times.
Gail Rambert, who lives in Orange Mound, believes that.
“A lot of people can’t get out of the communities to do things that they need to do,” she said.
Rambert’s house is only a few blocks from the fairgrounds, and she intends to go on Saturday. She benefited from their event when Convoy of Hope last came to Memphis ten years ago.
“They had real live doctors, examine you right there on site.”
Catrana Dockery is also planning to visit.
“A lot of people are talking about going, people I know. Neighbors and stuff, they said they’re going to get up and go over there, and try to get what they can get. And be happy with it, because it’s a nice thing they’re doing,” Dockery said.
She plans on getting some groceries and some clothes.
But the temperatures will be very dangerous for the thousands of people, possibly waiting in lines.
Boston said they will have 20,000 bottles of water, fans under the tents, and even an air-conditioned MATA bus on loan from the city.
“They donated a bus – a city bus, to put it right on our site, have it running with air conditioning all day, so people needing a relief from the heat, they can go in that bus,” he said.
People are encouraged to go early to avoid long lines and sweltering heat. Wear light-colored clothes, and bring a hat.
Boston said he hopes the event will connect people with agencies in the community to create long-lasting relationships to bring them out of poverty.
“We want to help you, and encourage you, and give you a day of hope.”