#theconvoy

23 Sep

When I started my new job in April I knew my life would be changing in a big way.  For starters, I wouldn’t be commuting anymore.  I was spending close to 6 hours in my car every week getting to and from work and it was getting old, and my car hated it!  That was really the only small change.  There were lots of big changes too.  Many of you know, I have struggled with my faith for the last 10 years.  The Salvation Army is not just a non profit.  It’s also a Christian Denomination.  In my second interview with the Majors (Von and Linda) they prayed over me and my decision to join the team.  Every day since then my heart and mind have opened up a little more to explore my faith again and find my way.

In my first week on the job I was able to sit with Major Von in a meeting about The Convoy of Hope coming to Sioux City.  It just so happens that the pastor that was bringing the Convoy to town was also the pastor at my in-laws church.  Pastor Johnny and I had a relationship through my family that catapulted us into the Convoy family.  What is the Convoy of Hope?  Its a large scale event to bring together the local community to help people in poverty.  We bring them hope in the way of a smiling face and bags of free groceries.  We provide resources to give their kids haircuts and have family portraits taken at no charge.  And we inspire the community to look around and help those in need.  Most importantly it is an event inspired by the word of God giving Hope to all of Sioux City.

The Salvation Army of Siouxland spent five months on the planning committee, working with 20 churches and 16 other local businesses to bring the Convoy to town.  We assisted the Food Services committee and gave her ideas on how to feed the potentially 10,000 people we could get to the event.  We provided our assistance in the way of breakfast to the 1,000 volunteers we intended to have signed up.  We provided the research to the committee on what neighborhoods in town were most in need of assistance in the way of food and amenities.

On September 13, 2013 I helped with 100 other volunteers to set up the event at the Tyson Events Center.  We set up the 1,500 pairs of shoes donated by TOMS and laid the floor out for children’s activities like face painting and bounce houses.  I assisted with the Health Services area by setting up chairs and tables.  I set up the Salvation Army table so our volunteers would be ready to go when they arrives Saturday morning.  And I even got interviewed by a local tv network for a story on the event.

KCAU TV Convoy of Hope

I awoke early on Saturday morning and was at the event by 6 am.  morning at convoyWe were there with our Salvation Army canteen handing out donuts and drinks to volunteers to get the morning started off right.sunrise convoyOnce all the volunteers were fed (over 1,100 of them) we went inside and were broken up among all the different areas that needed volunteers.  I headed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation “tent” where we were teaching women about breast health.  Once the doors opened to the event I realized that our traffic flow would be limited due to our location in the Events Center so I grabbed a stack of flyers and began to canvas the event handing out flyers to every woman I saw to remind them to stop by our tent.  These women are the primary care givers (as most women are) and their breast health is just as important as mine.  To me, it was an essential part of the event to provide these women with local resources to ensure they were given the same opportunities as me.  I was joined in the tent by two Salvationists, Jackie and Jodie, who signed up to volunteer at church in the Salvation Army earlier in the month.NBCF TentThe day was truly amazing.  The stats for the event are astounding and I am so proud to be able to say I was a part of it.

  • gave away 80,000 pounds of food
  • 350 haircuts given
  • 5,774 people walked through our doors
  • 1,500 pairs of shoes given
  • 6,000 free hot dogs consumed
  • 575 family portraits taken
  • 4,619 people received prayer

I don’t think my life would have lead me to the Convoy of Hope had I not found my way to the Salvation Army.  I say it pretty regularly but I am extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to work here.  Not a day goes by that I wake up wishing I didn’t have to go to work, instead, I am excited to start my day.  Every day I count my blessings and the Salvation Army of Siouxland is top on my list.  Being a part of an organization that gives back so much makes me proud to be an employee here.  Thank you to everyone that has supported this life change, especially Britton who put up with my moaning and groaning for months while I searched for a job.  This has been truly life changing.

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4 Responses to “#theconvoy”

  1. Kendra G. September 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Awesome! Simply awesome.

  2. Sydney Liebman September 24, 2013 at 10:33 pm #

    Ashley, I’m so proud of you!

  3. Karen Steele Feller September 24, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    What a blessing to read your blog today. Faith is what gets us through the bad times as well as the good. Giving is a hard lesson for some to learn so be strong in the lord as you give on a daily basis.

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