Helping Hands in Springfield, Missouri

Staff file photo by Sam Yu
 Thousands of people and almost as many volunteers were at the Frederick fairgrounds in June 2011 for the Convoy of Hope outreach. Here, volunteers prepare groceries for participants. There were also free family portraits, entertainment, health screenings, prayer sessions, clothing, a job fair, and food at the event. sy-w/NS

Staff file photo by Sam Yu Thousands of people and almost as many volunteers were at the Frederick fairgrounds in June 2011 for the Convoy of Hope outreach. Here, volunteers prepare groceries for participants. There were also free family portraits, entertainment, health screenings, prayer sessions, clothing, a job fair, and food at the event. sy-w/NS

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Springfield, Missouri has hundreds of wonderful organizations designed to help those in need in our community, our country, or our world. This includes specialized camps, disaster response teams, temporary homes for parents of sick children, research centers, and many more! You’ve probably heard names like Make A Wish, Convoy of Hope, and maybe even Camp Barnabas, but do you know what is so significant about them? In this article, I will describe these three amazing organization and how they are making the world a better place.

Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is a Christian based organization that strives to feed the world. They do this through disaster response, children’s feeding initiatives, and community outreaches. Convoy of Hope was started in 1994 by the Donaldson family after experiencing an act of kindness from a community of people after their father was killed by a drunk driver. Convoy of Hope is feeding kids, around 160,000 to be exact, in eleven countries. These countries include the Philippines. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Nepal, and Lebanon. This is only a small number compared to the amount of people Convoy of Hope has served worldwide. According to the Convoy of Hope website, “More than 80 million people have been served throughout the world.” That is A LOT of people! Convoy of Hope also does lots of work around the United States. They send disaster response teams around the country to help when bad things happen. They were among the first responders in Houston after Hurricane Harvey hit last year. They also work through different churches, businesses, government organizations, and nonprofits to reach even more people around the country and around the world. Convoy of Hope is a nonprofit organization that has its headquarters here in Springfield. This means they get their money from donors. If you would like to learn how you can donate to or get involved with this wonderful charity, click here to go to the Convoy of Hope website.

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Camp Barnabas

Camp Barnabas is a Christian camp for children with disabilities. Each summer, different sessions are held for campers to come and have fun with other children their age who are going through like circumstances. Camp Barnabas runs through Kanakuk Kamps. It began with a little girl named Laura Hauschild who went to Kanakuk camps for a couple of summers. Then she was diagnosed with cancer, and as a result, lost her leg. When she went back to Kanakuk that next summer, she had to spend it in the medical center, which ruined her summer. When asked what her ideal summer camp would be, she responded with this description: “Everyone would be in a wheelchair or on crutches. No one would care that your hair was missing from chemo. It would be easy for anyone to do all of the activities of camp. Cancer wouldn’t isolate you–it would unite you–and when you came there, you would be loved.” Camp Barnabas was born later in 1994, beginning in Purdy, Missouri and then adding a second location in Shell Knob, Missouri. Their mission is “changing lives through disability ministry.” How exactly do they do this? Camp Barnabas has activities that all handicapped children can enjoy. Each camper has a volunteer who has one on one time with them every day at camp. This volunteer helps them during activities, in cabins, and has the responsibility of making the camper feel welcome. They also have the job of becoming their friend. Special connections are made at Camp Barnabas. Many other jobs are available at Camp Barnabas. Some are voluntary and some are paying jobs. Click here for the full list and the descriptions of the various positions. They include Cabin Staff, Core Team, Intern, Extreme Team, and many more! Camp Barnabas has housed around 75,000 campers and missionaries throughout the years. To learn more about the amazing Camp Barnabas click here to go to the Camp Barnabas homepage!

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Make A Wish

Make A Wish is a nationwide organization that grants wishes to children with a life-threatening illness. The child must be younger than 18 and their condition must be declared bad enough by their physician to be eligible for a wish. Wishes can range from meeting a celebrity to getting a puppy to going to a big sporting event. American wrestler John Cena holds the title for most wishes granted over the years. Make A Wish’s motto is “A wish experience can be a game-changer for a child with a critical illness.” This means that when a child gets their wish granted, the happiness and positivity can help them through their situation. Make A Wish employees called Wish Granters are in charge of making a child’s wish come true. They communicate with the child and Make A Wish as they work with donors to shine a positive light on the child’s hard situation. Make A Wish’s goal is to “grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness.” According to the Make A Wish website, a wish is granted somewhere in the country every 34 minutes. That’s about 42 wishes per day! Make A Wish was started after a seven-year-old boy named Chris Greicius was diagnosed with leukemia. His dream job was to be a police officer, so his community banned together to make his wish happen. After his death, the two people who ran the project along with other people came together to form Make A Wish. The headquarters for this organization is in Phoenix, Arizona, where it all began.  I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of at least one person who has had their wish granted. In fact, my cousin, who had a heart transplant when she was a baby, went to the Grammy’s as she wishes. Another friend of mine who had leukemia went to an All-Star Game for her wish. Make A Wish is a wonderful organization whose goal is to make sick children happier. To learn more or donate to this amazing cause, click here to go to the Make A Wish website.

There are many more amazing causes in Springfield. Some of these include the Ronald McDonald House, the Victim Center, Victory Mission, Go 61, Inc., The Rainbow Network, Boys and Girls Clubs, and many, many more! If you are interested in researching or donating to any of these organizations or any others you have in mind, don’t wait! Donate today and help others in our community, in our country, and in our world have a better life.

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