Fresno Readies for "Convoy of Hope"

FRESNO, Calif. Piece by piece, volunteers intend to help re-build southwest Fresno. They're setting up for Saturday's massive "Convoy of Hope," which is expected to attract some ten-thousand people to a field at Edison Computech.

Debbie Jensen is the Outreach Director of North Pointe church and heads the Fresno Convoy of Hope effort. She explained the event's significance. "Just more than anything, just to restore hope for the people that have been forgotten in our valley that are hurting through our economic times."

Volunteers were busy sorting through donated clothing collected by 75 local churches. Some items still had price tags. Families will be able pick and choose what they want - for free.

Volunteer Christy Manning said, "They'll get a bag and all the clothes will be labeled by sizes and genders and they can pick up as many as they like."

In addition to clothes, 160-thousand pounds of food will be handed out to needy families. Jensen said "Some of our tents will have full medical services, dental services. We'll do screenings for different medical needs."

Tented areas will be set up for free haircuts, a kids carnival, even a career fair. Pastor Jerry Jones of Glory Bound Church said, "These are troublesome times. These are crucial times. These are perilous times. Kids don't have nothing to eat."

Pastor Jones helped man the bar-b-que pit to feed the volunteers setting up for such a welcome event. He explained, "This brought the whole city together for this convoy of hope so we just wanted to let them know we appreciate the efforts that everyone has put forward to make this a success."

Debbie Jensen has been working on this project for 2-1/2 years after Fresno was selected by the Convoy of Hope organization. "To actually see it coming together today is unexplainable."

The Convoy of Hope begins Saturday morning at ten.

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