FAIRFIELD, Ohio — Volunteer truck driver Buddy Frye has had a long week. On Thursday, he drove 10 hours from Springfield, Missouri, to the Cincinnati area. He got a break for a few hours, then made the 10-hour trip back to Missouri. After some rest, he'll hit the road again.
“I have no other motivation than just to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Frye.
He drives for Convoy of Hope, an international relief organization that feeds more than 300,000 children each day around the world, according to the non-profit. Recently, Frye's trips have taken him from coast to coast. He delivered food and supplies to communities across the country hard hit by COVID-19. Thursday's delivery was in Fairfield.
“If I can do something little that makes a difference in somebody’s life," he said, "I think that’s why we’re here.”
Convoy of Hope is a Missouri-based non-profit that has made deliveries of food and cleaning supplies to over 300 cities across the country in the last several weeks as communities have been impacted by Corornavirus. This week Fairfield was added to the list. The delivery included 30,000 pounds of products to be given away: toilet paper, paper towels, bleach, spray cleaner, laundry detergent, hand soap and paper cups. The items will be distributed on Saturday, April 18, 2020, beginning at 3 p.m. at Tri-County Assembly of God Church, 7350 Dixie Highway (Route 4) in Fairfield.
“We really want to give. We really do believe that it’s better to give than to receive,” said Brad Rosenberg, lead pastor of Tri-County Assembly of God Church, which arranged for the delivery. Rosenberg is also the chairman of the board for Convoy of Hope, which usually responds to domestic natural disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. Rosenberg said COVID-19 is a different kind of storm.
“The primary purpose (of Convoy of Hope) is the international and domestic disaster services. And so, this would fall under that category,” said Rosenberg.
The distribution of items on Saturday, which is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, will be done while practicing social distancing. Rosenberg said church volunteers will wear masks and gloves and limit contact with recipients. Drivers will be asked to pop their trunks as they approach the distribution site.
“People will drive through the S-formation, our volunteers will put them (donations) in their trunks or in their back seat if they can’t pop their trunk, and then they can leave out the back (of the parking lot).”
Rosenberg said the effort is a way to give to those in need in the community. He believes they will be able to serve at least 500 families who come out to receive the donated goods.
“I think it’s important, especially right now. When people are facing uncertainty and anxiety, what we were trying to do is spread hope and kindness,” he said. "Spread hope, not germs.”
Spreading hope has meant sending semi-trucks to meet as many needs in communities as they can. Rosenberg said the list is long. They have requests for semi-truck deliveries in nearly 700 additional cities, and he estimates they have delivered 5 million meals across the country in the last two weeks.
“Our trucks have been in New York City. They’ve been in Michigan. They’ve been in Louisiana,” Rosenberg said.
Meanwhile, Frye said driving across the country from city to city has given him a front seat to seeing the difficulties the many people are experiencing.
“Bottom line, there’s a huge amount of unemployment, especially to people that live paycheck to paycheck. You take it away, it’s gone and they don’t have recourse,” Frye said.
“The big point of Convoy is to give that recourse,” he added.
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