One of the
great fallacies of our time is that if government doesn't do something, no
one will. Its corollary is that if you are opposed to the government doing
something, that you are opposed to anyone performing that function at all.
These disastrous fallacies color much of our national debate concerning heath
care, education, poverty, housing, and disaster relief, and other issues.
Easter season, I would like to applaud an organization that proves just how
much private charity can accomplish without government mandates or intrusion.
Convoy of Hope, based in Springfield, Missouri is equal parts grocer,
clothier, heath care provider, first responder, educator, and logistics
expert. It works with communities across America and around the world,
bringing together other local charities, businesses, churches, and government
agencies to alleviate poverty and help people in the wake of disasters. The
tremendous scope of its activities serves as a reminder that government is
neither the sole, nor the best, provider of goods and services to people in
had the privilege of touring Convoy of Hope's headquarters and distribution
center. It was a humbling but encouraging experience. Frankly, I've never
seen an organization so focused, efficient, and poised to do so much good for
so many people.
Hope was founded by Hal and David Donaldson in 1994, who, as young boys
suffered the death of their father and subsequent poverty. Both men were
struck by the outpouring of support their family received during that time
from local churches and the community. As a result, the two brothers developed
a deep sense of responsibility to helping others in need. Convoy of Hope has
since helped more than 50 million individuals in more than 100 countries--
giving away nearly $300 million worth of food and supplies in the process.
typically spend only about 10% of their budget on overhead while employing a
small staff of approximately 85 people. Watchdog group Charity Navigator
consistently gives Convoy of Hope high marks for both its financial acumen
Hope also stretches its resources by developing strategic partnerships with
private sector corporations, including Coca Cola, Nestle, Proctor &
Gamble, Georgia Pacific, Cargill, Del Monte, and FedEx. These corporate
donors donate everything from building supplies to bottled water to
toiletries. Its massive distribution center and headquarters are centrally
located in Missouri, where its fleet of trucks can dispatch quickly to any
location in America. It also operates six international distribution centers
for logistical efficiency.
step for Convoy of Hope is an audacious one: a 50 state tour beginning in May
designed to address poverty across the United States. The "Convoy of
Hope Tour" will provide an average of $1 million in goods and services
to a community in a single day. Convoy of Hope's fleet of 18 wheel trucks
will roll through every state, providing a wide variety of goods and
practical services to those in need, including groceries, job counseling,
clothing, dental care, breast cancer screenings, haircuts, family portraits,
children's activities, as well as prayer and connections with local churches.
Hope is doing tremendous work on behalf of mankind. I wish everyone at Convoy
of Hope great success with their upcoming tour. It's hard to imagine a government
agency operating as efficiently, as nimbly, or as cheerfully as Convoy of
Hope. I truly believe it should serve as a model for private, voluntary,
nongovernmental solutions to poverty and disaster relief in our communities.