Guest blog by Jacqueline Campbell, Analyst for North America Corporate Social Responsibility at Sanofi.
Nearly 1 million people have volunteered to package meals with Stop Hunger Now 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 Stop Hunger Now impact trip to Haiti in March 2016, I witnessed the true value of my employer, Sanofi, and our work as a corporate Stop Hunger Now partner.
I was already on board with Stop Hunger Now’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.
Stop Hunger Now’s partnership with Sanofi has provided more than 288,000 meals over the past four years, as well as supported disaster relief and Stop Hunger Now’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 Stop Hunger Now’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 Stop Hunger Now are working to extend the reach of our partnership beyond meal packaging events through advocacy and by supporting Stop Hunger Now’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 Stop Hunger Now to end hunger in our lifetime.
I urge other corporate partners to join a Stop Hunger Now 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, Stop Hunger Now is a single resource for your corporation. To learn more about our Stop Hunger Now 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.