Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Convoy Of Hope Is A Good Will Pick

Less than two years ago, the entire world became galvanized as the impoverished country of Haiti suffered one of its worst natural catastrophes in history, an earthquake directly affecting more than 3 million people, leaving more than one million homeless and killing more than 300,000. And while the initial humanitarian aid and global outpouring of support was remarkable, some of it waned as new disasters took priority.

Fortunately, not everyone left the job undone in Haiti. And one organization in particular, Convoy of Hope, made a commitment to turn the country's greatest heartbreak into its greatest opportunity. Their story is inspired. Enough so that their work caught the attention of American pop band Stars Go Dim.

Stars Go Dim And Convoy Of Hope. 

"The song was inspired by the world we currently live in. All around us people are trying to make it through this difficult time and we wanted to let people know that no matter what happens in this life that we are not alone," says Stars Go Dim frontman Joey Avalos. "Honestly, we never set out to make Between Here And Now a theme song for Convoy of Hope. But after meeting with Director Jeff Roman,  we realized this song could be used to spread hope through the world."

Avalos and the band didn't merely sign their song away to become the theme song of Convoy Of Hope. They personally embarked on a life-changing mission of mercy, traveling to Haiti to see the devastation and, more importantly, to lend a hand to the progress being made.

"I can still see the kids' faces. They all wanted to be held and loved," Avalos said. "You would think that in such a poor country that these kids would be completely standoffish or hesitant to interact, but it was the complete opposite. The hard part was trying to give your love to all of them in such a short amount of time."

According to Roman, progress is being made. Specifically, Convoy of Hope, which had been operating in Haiti before the earthquake, expanded its Children's Feeding Initiative in Haiti to provide for more than 58,000 children. These children receive daily meals through one of 258 partner schools or 15 orphanages. And more remarkably, the organization is supporting one of the first generations of children who will receive enough resources and education to make a difference in their country.

"When we arrived with the band last August, it was encouraging to see subtle infrastructure improvements such as a cleaner airport, rubble removal, and the start of what appears to be several substantial building projects," said Roman. "All of these endeavors supply a country with 80 percent unemployment an opportunity to work."

Unlike many countries, a chance is all they ask — the audacity of hope to receive an education, find employment, feed their families, and have the opportunity to lift themselves up. And most of the programs developed by Convoy of Hope are designed to help Haiti become self-sufficient.

"Rather than importing food into the country, we have begun a partnership of sustainable in-country farming," explains Roman. "It will bring revenue to the Haitian farmers and food to our partners."

An unlikely partnership creates a long-term vision of hope. 

While visiting Haiti with Convoy of Hope, Stars Go Dim also filmed an unreleased (to date) video for the song Between Here And Now. The video, described as epic by everyone who has seen it, was shot in what is now the ruins of a Haitian cathedral. The church was originally built in the 1800s.

But the upcoming release of the video isn't the only place Stars Go Dim will be sharing the inspiring story of Convoy of Hope. Avalos says that his band is committed to sharing their life-changing experience with fans at shows, in person, and through social media.

Currently, Convoy of Hope delivers $7 of food, clean water, and supplies for 90 percent of every dollar donated to the organization. Along with these critical supplies, they carry with them a spirit of compassion and humility. Find out how you can help.

"I will never forget the tent cities or the rubble," said Avalos. "But I also never forget that this amazing organization doesn't want all the attention or glamor. They just want to help people who need help. After all the cameras and press leave any disaster site, Convoy of Hope stays on to help. I have hope for Haiti."

Convoy Of Hope Is A Good Will Pick by Liquid Hip. 

At least once a month, Liquid [Hip] highlights good will efforts undertaken by courageous people with big hearts. We don't score them. That belongs to you.

We picked Convoy of Hope because it represents one of many organizations that are frequently overlooked by the media because it is working too hard to pause for the cameras. And yet, in places like Haiti and almost a dozen other countries, or sometimes right here in the United States in places like Joplin, Missouri, Convoy of Hope mobilizes volunteers for community outreach and disaster response.

Along with Convoy of Hope, Joey Avalos, Chris Cleveland, and Michael Wittig have produced a heartfelt song, Between Here And Now (iTunes), on their new seven-track album. The album also includes two acoustic versions of Between Here And Now and Seventeen, two of the best tracks. You can also find Between Here And Now on Amazon.
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