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22 tons of hope

As families come out to Kaunakakai Ball Park this July to receive free food, entertainment and services, they just may receive something else as well – hope.

Convoy of Hope, a faith-based nonprofit whose mission is to feed the world, will come to Molokai July 19, 20 and 21, offering free groceries, family portraits, haircuts, health screenings, shoes and lunch to everyone who shows up for their weekend of hope.

Lynette Eastman, Convoy of Hope Hawaii organizer, said they will have 22 tons of groceries – 5,000 bags – waiting for the families who come out.

“We will not allow anything to be sold,” Scott Sonoda, Convoy of Hope Hawaii coordinator, said. “If one person comes in and walks through the whole Convoy of Hope day, that one person can walk out with $200 of items.”
Church and business leaders came together Feb. 22 to learn about the organization and their plans for Molokai.


Volunteers give away groceries at a past Convoy of Hope day. Photo contributed by Convoy of Hope

“We are not here to bring Convoy of Hope to Molokai,” Sonoda said. “We’re here for your businesses and organizations to tell us how to do Convoy of Hope here.”

The nonprofit, which was formed in 1994, came to 49 states before reaching out to Hawaii in 2011. This is the third year the organization will be in Honolulu. This year they’re bringing hope to Molokai as well and have plans to reach out to other islands in the future.

Cameron Hino, Pastor at Heart of Aloha Church and Molokai organizer for Convoy of Hope, said the cost for bringing the event to the island will be between $25,000 to $50,000 depending on turnout.

Convoy of Hope is operated by volunteers. Of the organization’s $72 million of operating expenses in 2011, 10 percent went to overhead costs, which includes fundraising, management and general costs.
Bulla Eastman, Convoy of Hope Hawaii media director, said they may soon call on recent Lanai purchaser Larry Ellison to sponsor the program locally.

“What’s in it for him?” Eastman said at the planning meeting. “Showing that he cares about Hawaii.”

Lynette Eastman said they expect 2,500 adults and their children to show up to Molokai’s Convoy of Hope, which will occur in conjunction with this year’s Praise in the Park Molokai, a free Christian concert organized by various churches on the island.

State and National Convoy of Hope organizers, along with the organization’s global director, will come to Molokai March 18 and 19 for leadership training and another public forum.
Anyone wanting more information or interesting in donating time, funds or resources can contact Cameron Hiro at 658-0433 or heart@sandwichisles.net. More on Convoy of Hope is available at convoyofhope.org


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