John Howell’s column

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2011

Convoy offers unique opportunity to do what we do best

One question asked frequently as the days for the Convoy of Hope’s visit to Batesville approach are, “Who can come?”

The answer: Anybody.

For months people from a coalition of about 30 area churches have planned this audacious one-day event to give away food, clothing and all sorts of services to anyone who shows up for it, no questions asked, no IDs required, no proof of income or any of the criteria usually associated with aid distribution.

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Local volunteers organizing the Convoy are not exactly reinventing the wheel. They are using guidelines and ideas from the international Convoy of Hope organization (

But even with that, they have already put in many planning hours, dollars and ideas to meet the expectations of those who will be coming May 7 to the Batesville Civic Center.

And more is needed.

In Mississippi, we find ourselves ranked at the bottom of so many lists that are supposed to measure wealth, health and quantity of life that we’ve just learned to expect it, accept it and keep on going.

Not so with giving. We know so well how to give that the state ranks among the highest in per capita charitable donations.

Now comes the Convoy of Hope to give us another opportunity. Just over a week away, right here at the front door of our community is the opportunity to demonstrate generosity both of spirit and in goods.

Another question that has been asked of those who are organizing the Convoy of Hope is “Who can volunteer?”

Again, the answer is simple: Anybody.

Call this number to learn more: 662-578-0052. If there’s no answer, leave a message. Someone will call you back.

There’s also an address in case you want to make a donation: Convoy of Hope, 2021 Eureka St., Batesville, MS 38606.

Here and now is an event that, when it is over you can look back on and wish that you had been there or you can look back on and be so glad you were.