A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
MILLIONS OF CHILDREN WORLDWIDE ARE SUFFERING FROM “HIDDEN hunger,” a lack of micronutrients that can lead to disease and even death. In fact, a staggering 45% of all childhood deaths are attributable to undernutrition. Working to change these soberinging statistics is a nonprofit organization called Vitamin Angels. As their name suggests,t VitaminViti AngelsAl provides life-saving vitamins domestically and to underprivileged countries throughout the world. Specifically, the organization administers vitamin A to children under 5 (critical for proper growth and development), as well as essential vitamins and minerals to pregnant women and nursing mothers.
This past February, our very own editorial director, Nicole Brechka, had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala and witness first-hand the impact Vitamin Angels is making in people’s lives. (See “Angels Among Us” on p. 76.) Nicole interviewed several families, and saw astounding differences in the children who had received vitamin A compared to those who hadn’t. “One family told me that on some days, all they can afford to eat are tortillas and salt,” recounts Nicole. “This is a powerful example of why vitamin A is so important in these poor regions—the difference can be life and death.”
This year alone, Vitamin Angels will benefit 40 million women and children. Says Vitamin Angels founder Howard Schiffer, “I feel like I get to work at a heart level with the team at Vitamin Angels. [Our team and partners] are dedicated to these incredible children who live in the poorest communities and most remote villages, and are so happy when we show up,” he says. Schiffer was especially touched by a young girl in Guatemala who reached up to hold his hand as he walked down the street. “She was telling me, ‘Thank you for coming to our village!’” says Schiffer. “My promise to these children is that we will not forget you.”
To learn more about Vitamin Angels or to donate, go to vitaminangels.org.