An all-encompassing event is being planned to help needy people in central Iowa next month, the likes of which organizers say hasn’t been seen in the state before. Heath Adamson, director of the Convoy of Hope, says they aim to fill Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines with a one-stop, one-day haven for a wide host of free services — from haircuts to health care to groceries.
“We have never done anything like this,” Adamson says. “Convoy of Hope has done some outreach years ago with a few local churches that came together and distributed groceries but to my knowledge, the state of Iowa has never seen a community endeavor of this magnitude.”
Adamson, who is the student ministries director for the Iowa Ministry Network, says this effort is unprecedented in state history as he says the need in the region is also unprecedented. “We’re going to partner with Des Moines University — there’s a free health clinic,” Adamson says.
“We’re distributing 35,000 pounds of free groceries. We’re anticipating anywhere between 750 to 1,000 new pairs of shoes will be given away to needy children, free haircuts from licensed hairstylists, free family portraits from a lot of photographers in the community that just want to put a smile on someone’s face.”
There will also be a community services area featuring more than 100 organizations, offering a range of aid from parenting tips to how to get a G.E.D. Dozens of local churches, businesses and community organizations are playing roles.
Adamson says more than 1,500 volunteers are already being coordinated for the event, but hundreds more are needed. “We need people to help us with everything from hospitality, people just to hug on people when they come in, smile at them,” Adamson says. “We’re distributing a lot of groceries and we need as many hands as possible, people to volunteer in the community services area. We’re looking at (needing) another thousand volunteers.”
The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 12th. Learn more at: www.convoyofhopedsm.com