It’s no secret that New Orleans has faced its fair share of adversity these last two decades. But despite the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a guiding light emerged from the floodwaters. Eight years later, Troy Duhon and his wife founded Giving Hope, a global-impact nonprofit and a testament to the resilience and compassion of the human spirit. Dedicated to changing lives through love, Giving Hope has evolved into a powerhouse of transformation, reaching across world borders and bridging gaps through various impactful programs.
After losing two children in 2004 and 2006, and having the hurricane demolish four of Duhon’s New Orleans-based car dealerships, the family persisted and found purpose in the pain. Duhon and his employees began working with another nonprofit to help serve and rebuild the New Orleans community. His employees loved the work they were doing, which eventually inspired Duhon to start Giving Hope.
“At first, we were feeding 200 people a day and cooking 100 hot meals,” he says. “Now, we feed about 5,000-6,000 people a day and cook 1,100 hot meals a day.”
The organization’s efforts have expanded far beyond providing meals, encompassing initiatives such as building orphanages abroad and collaborating on community centers, like the Giving Hope Community Center in the Ninth Ward, and the Giving Hope Retreat Center in partnership with the New Orleans Mission to address issues of homelessness and drug rehabilitation.
“[Giving Hope] really just evolved into something much, much bigger, and I never would have dreamed it would have gotten this big,” Duhon says.
As a founder, Duhon plays a crucial role in raising awareness and funds for Giving Hope. With a background in the automobile business, operating 35 dealerships across the country, Duhon leverages his network to forge strategic partnerships. For example, they partnered financially with Capital One Bank in 2018 to build the first Hope House Orphanage in Hyderabad, India. This ability to establish meaningful connections has propelled Giving Hope to new heights, making it a force for positive change.
Central to Giving Hope’s mission is its commitment to building a legacy that outlasts its founders. Duhon emphasizes, “The goal is to build Giving Hope into a nonprofit that will live when we’re gone.” The organization’s future plans include the construction of permanent facilities in key locations and a continuous effort to build orphanages around the world in honor of their lost children.
Giving Hope’s multifaceted programs demonstrate a holistic approach to addressing societal needs. While Duhon recognizes the organization’s main focus is on its local food pantry, its other programs like Corporate Hope Days, Hope Against Trafficking Everywhere, Hope for a Home, and the Angola Re-Entry program aim to educate, feed, clothe, house, and provide fellowship to a wide variety of people in need.
What sets Giving Hope apart is its efficiency and volunteer-driven operations. Duhon proudly states, “If you look at our 990 (which is how they grade nonprofits) we run at 90% efficiency, which means for every dollar that comes in, 90 cents goes out.” Its ability to utilize donated resources, such as the 8 million pounds of food collected annually, showcases a commitment to minimizing waste and maximizing impact. In 2025, Duhon hopes to collect and maintain 10 million pounds of food each year from there on out.
For those looking to support Giving Hope’s mission, Duhon encourages involvement through volunteering and donations. He highlights the transformative power of volunteering, stating, “One of the greatest things a father or mother can do is serve as a family.” Whether as a corporate team or a family unit, contributing time and resources to Giving Hope can create lasting memories and foster a sense of community responsibility.
As Giving Hope embarks on new projects, like building a facility in San Diego, California, and a headquarters in New Orleans, Duhon envisions a future where the organization’s reach extends even further. He dreams of a partnership with the Orleans Parish school system, ensuring that every high school senior contributes eight hours of service to the community, and fostering a culture of giving back from a young age.
All in all, Giving Hope stands as a testament to the transformative power of love and service. Troy Duhon’s vision, coupled with the dedication of volunteers and strategic partnerships, has propelled this nonprofit to the forefront of global impact. As you continue to embark throughout 2024, heed Duhon’s call to make it a year of giving back, a year of transformation, and a year where hope continues to shine brightly in the darkest corners of the world.
For more information, visit givinghopenola.com.