(This post was written by Brian Singler, Reliv’s multimedia producer. You’ve seen his work in the videos on YouTube, reliv.com and at conference. He traveled to Haiti last week for the first time as part of a party of nine with the Reliv Kalogris Foundation).
Let me tell you a story from Haiti.
The first stop on our trip through Haiti last week was just outside of Cap Haitian, a city of one million people in northern Haiti, at the clinic of Dr. Emmanuel “Manno” Mareus.
I walked into a room where three cholera victims lay dying. It was nearly pitch black, terrible conditions for taking pictures or shooting video. Some light settled on a young girl and I knelt by her wooden bed, listening to her moaning in my headphones and looking through my viewfinder at her vacant eyes, rolling back into her head.
Dr. Manno briefly explained her condition and chances of survival, and then took the rest of the party away for the next stop on the tour. I stayed for several minutes, riveted by the tragic scene, before someone forced me to leave because everyone was moving on.
Three days later, I was standing on the gangplank at the Charlotte airport coming home when Scott Montgomery, the Kalogris Foundation chairman, told everyone: “Hey, do any of you remember that girl at Dr. Manno’s clinic?
“Well, she died.”
I can’t describe how I felt at that moment. I looked at my camera. I held the last recorded moments of that girl’s life in my hands. She died so fast, the files were still on my memory card; I hadn’t even transferred them to my computer yet.
I thought about a lot of things.
How I didn’t even know her name or how old she was.
How I, not a single member of her family, was there in her last moments, sticking a camera in her face.
How I have filmed so many things in my career but never someone dying a foot from my lens.
How she would likely be put in a black, plastic trash bag, buried in an unmarked grave and forgotten.
But then I thought about one of the last things that Dr. Manno had said. He had been giving her Reliv Now since she was admitted. He knew she was going to die, but he gave it to her anyway.
Some people might call that a waste. I would call it some of the most precious and needed scoops of Reliv Now that have possibly ever been given to anyone.
If that were the end of the story, it would be tragic. But you see it’s not.
Five minutes after I left the clinic and no more than 500 feet away, I stood in a sea of yellow uniforms at St. Jude’s school where hundreds of kids sang, danced, smiled and begged me to take their picture.
All perfectly healthy and happy and drinking Reliv Now for Kids.
If you truly want to understand the impact of the Reliv Kalogris Foundation, you have to understand the contrast between those two scenes.
Because of Reliv Distributors and others who give to the foundation, more than 10,000 Haitian children and 40,000 around the world will be fed today and have the same hope in their eyes I saw at feeding stations all over Haiti.
And one little girl — who easily could have been among them — won’t be forgotten.