As the Reliv Kalogris Foundation celebrates 20 years of helping people around the world, three employees share their experiences visiting the continuing effort in Haiti. Celebrate with us — make plans now to join the RKF 20th Anniversary Celebration at International Conference.
Love Conquers All
By Reliv HR Coordinator Matt Bell
What do I remember most from Haiti? Love. I’ll never forget the love exuded by the kids at the orphanages from the first day we met until the final morning we said our goodbyes.
When we first stepped out of the truck into a gated compound containing an orphanage and school, we were swarmed by smiling, happy kids who just wanted to be hugged and loved. It was overwhelming. All my life I have never experienced this many people vying for my attention. All they wanted was to hold my hand or be picked up and held. They all have million dollar smiles and seem to love the life they have.
It’s very humbling coming from a country where we have everything and still find things to complain about. And those things we complain about have no real meaning when put into the perspective of people born into extreme poverty. Yet these poor people still smile, laugh and love the life they’ve been given.
The Reliv Kalogris Foundation has done an unbelievable job helping these kids have a roof over their head, a school in which to learn and Reliv nutrition to keep them healthy. This experience was incredibly rewarding, and I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to see the important work of the RKF firsthand.
Christmas Joy for Papa Noel
By Reliv Oracle Business Intelligence Programmer Kirk Haffer
When we arrived at the school on Friday afternoon (more than two hours past students’ normal time to go home), the kids were still sitting at their desks being very patient, which amazed me. I drove a school bus for a very short time, and the kids I drove could not sit still for 10 minutes!
We walked into one of the classrooms and they all stood up to greet us. While we passed out candy, they sat patiently and waited without grabbing or trying to take candy from someone else.
At the children’s home, they ran to us wanting to be picked up, hugged and held close. They craved attention from adults, and I felt like a grandpa to 50+ kids! They loved playing catch and seeing their image when I took a picture of them because they aren’t used to seeing their own reflections.
Then I had the chance to play the Big Man himself — Papa Noel! Once they saw me coming, they screamed in delight and ran to hug me. I handed out the presents that Reliv employees had donated and packaged for them, and their eyes grew wide with amazement looking at all the gifts. It was wonderful to see them understand that someone cares for them.
I’m so grateful I was able to spend some time with these sweet, deserving children and am very proud to work for a company with a foundation making a difference in people’s lives every day.
New Year, New Perspective
By Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing Steve Hastings
It is difficult to find a word that describes my trip to Haiti. Look up the word “awe” and you will come close to understanding the range of emotions I felt — both good and bad. Malnutrition, disease, poor living conditions and hopelessness prevail throughout the country. Seeing it on TV is troubling. Seeing it in person is devastating.
I want to focus on the positive awe I experienced thanks to your support of the Reliv Kalogris Foundation. I visited a remote orphanage where children, once nothing but bones and hair tinged red by malnutrition, lacking the cognitive ability to learn and troubled in so many ways, are now healthy, happy and thriving because of one Reliv shake each day.
We brought Christmas gifts (and Papa Noel!) to the beautiful kids at the Children’s Home, an extraordinary testament to what is possible through our efforts. These children are thriving. They are learning. They have HOPE! Their appreciation for your generosity, again, left me in awe.
Throughout the trip I struggled with the thought of the millions who don’t have this hope. And it hasn’t gone away. But I have realized — I have CHOSEN — to understand that we are making a difference for many and we have the ability to do so for so many more. Not just in Haiti but all around the world.
How? By building a bigger foundation. By building a bigger Reliv. By changing ordinary lives through an extraordinary means. I am in awe of what we have and can do!
Care to Join Us?
Distributors Betty and Ken Andrews earned a spot on our Papa Noel trip by finishing first in last year’s Be the Change Challenge. Want to join us on the trip next year? The Challenge continues in 2015! Learn more and how you can make a difference through the Reliv Kalogris Foundation.