Service members help community at Convoy of Hope event

About 350 military volunteers and their families passed out 12,000 bags of groceries to those in need as part of Convoy of Hope’s July 27 event. Photo courtesy of Pearl Harbor Memorial

About 350 military volunteers and their families passed out 12,000 bags of groceries to those in need as part of Convoy of Hope’s July 27 event. Photo courtesy of Pearl Harbor Memorial

Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

Service members at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam came together to help the community on July 27 for Convoy of Hope’s free events at Aloha Stadium and Kapolei Fairgrounds.

Convoy of Hope is a movement of churches, local businesses, health care providers, government organizations and others working together to tangibly meet needs of the local populace.

About 350 military volunteers and their families passed out groceries and backpacks to those in need.

“Backpacks were just one part of the community relation outreach at both the Aloha Stadium and Kapolei sites,” said Chaplain Lt. James Ragain, Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel. “Kids were given a backpack and were able to fill it with paper, crayons, pencils, pens, notebooks and folders. Volunteers were able to distribute 1,735 backpacks.”

In addition to the backpacks, 12,000 bags of groceries were distributed. Other services provided at the Convoy of Hope events included more than 600 free haircuts given and about 750 free family portraits taken.

Ragain considers these sorts of events an important part of what he does at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel.

“When I learned that I had orders to a chapel at a joint base, I envisioned the chapel communities coming together in service to reach the local Oahu community, and Convoy of Hope was the perfect venue for that,” he said.

“Not only did the chapel communities have an opportunity to come together, but we did so partnering with leaders in the local community-leaders who may know more about the tangible needs of the community than we might.

Convoy of Hope offered us a wonderful opportunity to support a local community that does a wonderful job supporting our military,” Ragain said.

While Convoy of Hope clearly benefitted those who received goods and services, Ragain believes volunteers also benefitted from the experience.

“In addition to the great connections that were made this year with leaders and local people in need, serving also impacts us,” he said.

“I am sure that every service member that packed groceries, helped set up, trekked around the island to raise awareness to the event, served on Saturday, or help tear down were blessed because of that service. We will definitely be involved in this again next year,” he added.

To learn more about Hawaii Convoy of Hope, visit http://hawaii.convoyoutreach.org/.

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Category: News