Convoy of Hope1

Convoy of Hope, a non-profit organization which conducts community outreaches, will be coming to the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa, on Saturday, August 1, and needs your help. Its mission statement is “Not a Handout, but a Hand Up.” Local Coordinator Jeff Arp and pastor of the Brandon Assembly of God, located at 710 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon, said, “I think people are generally excited about this coming to the community because of the need we have in the area.”

Convoy of Hope will be offering groceries, a health fair, and a kid’s zone including rides and popcorn, medical services, haircuts, hot meals, a connection to local churches and community organizations and job placement services free of charge. Several bands are scheduled to provide entertainment throughout the day.

According to Arp, approximately 40 churches, organizations and businesses have signed up to be a part of Convoy of Hope, including: One Thing Prayer Center, Christian Life Center, New Day Church, Rivers of Life Church, Revival Outreach Center, Quest Church in Seffner, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Brandon, Seffner Presbyterian Church, Lighthouse Ministries and Cynthia Pinckney Ministries, along with many more. So far, several Mary Kay representatives will be on-hand as well as individual hairstylists. Medical service professionals are still needed to provide physical evaluations, blood pressure tests and more.  If people are involved in a community outreach organization and want to get involved, they can contact Team Leader of Community Services, Doris Haskell at 661-6325.

“Anybody can volunteer that has a desire to help,” Arp said.For those who want to volunteer, there is a “volunteer commissioning rally” to be held the Friday before Convoy of Hope comes to town, July 31, at the Florida State Fairgrounds from 6:45-8:30 p.m. At the rally, they will hear from Convoy of Hope national leadership, hear reports on how this has helped other cities it has been to and get to see the layout of the event center. The Convoy of Hope will be held at the Florida State Fairgrounds, located at 4800 U.S. Hwy. 301 N. in Tampa. There are no requirements to come to the Convoy of Hope, although Arp said he will target the homeless, poor and working poor because, “They are in the most need.”

For more information or to sign up to volunteer with the Convoy of Hope, call Arp at 689-2345 or 527-4098. More information on Convoy of Hope is also available on its Website at

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Jennifer is the Assistant Editor at the Osprey Observer, having climbed the corporate ladder from intern in 2007. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She lives in Channing Park with her husband, Eric, and their two dogs.