Guest blog by Jacqueline Campbell, Analyst for North America Corporate Social Responsibility at Sanofi.
Nearly 1 million people have volunteered to package meals with Rise Against Hunger since 2005, yet only a handful of volunteers have had the opportunity to trace those meals around the world to see the faces of the people whose lives are impacted on a daily basis. Through a Rise Against Hunger impact trip to Haiti in March 2016, I witnessed the true value of my employer, Sanofi, and our work as a corporate Rise Against Hunger partner.
I was already on board with Rise Against Hunger’s mission to end hunger in our lifetime, but since the trip, I have become an even fiercer advocate. I understand the seriousness of starvation, malnutrition, and poverty. I knew these issues existed in this world, but I never expected to see them firsthand.
Rise Against Hunger’s partnership with Sanofi has provided more than 288,000 meals over the past four years, as well as supported disaster relief and Rise Against Hunger’s expansion into the New York metro area. After my Haiti trip, I believe this already strong partnership can become even more impactful.
The Impact Trip Team participated in school feeding programs and toured one of Rise Against Hunger’s sustainable agricultural projects, all of which demonstrated the impact Sanofi has made through their employee volunteer service and meal donations.
One of the most valuable experiences on my trip was the opportunity to meet local leaders committed to making a difference in the lives of Haitians, including Dr. Eugene Maklin. Dr. Maklin splits his time between the U.S. and Haiti and is dedicated to building a hospital, which, when completed, will service more than 250,000 Haitians. He walked us through that skeleton of a building and knew exactly where everything was going to be. His vision fascinated me.
Perhaps my most striking memory from Haiti is of the school children who, despite all the hardships they face daily, still managed to keep a smile on their face. I heard about their lives, how they lived, how they go hungry, how they get to school, what they have to do to go to school, and how the parents have difficulty paying for their education. I sit back and see all things that the children here in the U.S.—particularly my children—have and will be forever impressed with the resilience and gratitude of these people.
Together, Sanofi and Rise Against Hunger are working to extend the reach of our partnership beyond meal packaging events through advocacy and by supporting Rise Against Hunger’s in-country partners. Not a day passes when I don’t think about the trip the lasting impact it has made, or ways that both I and Sanofi can continue to work with Rise Against Hunger to end hunger in our lifetime.
I urge other corporate partners to join a Rise Against Hunger impact trip—you just don’t get it until you do it.
If you are looking for a way to involve your company or employees in volunteering, giving, and fighting against hunger, Rise Against Hunger is a single resource for your corporation. To learn more about our Rise Against Hunger impact trips or to discuss a new partnership, please contact Karen Sanders Noe at email@example.com.
Please Note: The opinions stated here are not authorized on behalf of Sanofi. They are a personal reflection.