Don’t Turn a Blind Eye

Don't Turn a Blind Eye

Angels responded to the Pakistan earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, and the Guatemalan flood.

These natural disasters drove home the devastating power of nature. We also saw the generous response of people who donated millions of dollars to aid victims. Among the many nonprofit agencies working to help, a group called the Vitamin Angel Alliance sent millions of vitamins to these devastated areas–and to many others over the last 10 years.

The Vitamin Angel Alliance

Vitamin Angel Alliance was created in 1994 to fight malnutrition and childhood blindness around the world. The Alliance is a consortium of members from the natural products and pharmaceutical industries and nutritional supplement manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. The Vitamin Angels contribute nutritional products to charitable health care facilities and programs located in countries across the globe.

Why vitamins? It’s a no-brainer; worldwide, one person in seven is chronically undernourished, so vitamins can make a powerful contribution to health and well-being. In the past few years, the Alliance has distributed over 37.6 million tablets and capsules of nutritional supplements in over 40 countries, working with local organizations.

A is for Angel

The Vitamin Angel website explains that one million high-dose vitamin A capsules saves the eyesight of 500,000 children a year and costs only $25,000. These vitamin A capsules are critical for healthy eyes; they are also important for the maintenance of the skin, lungs, and intestinal tract.

Giving Means Getting

Former US president Jimmy Carter, investment guru Warren Buffett, and billionaire Bill Gates are making major contributions to international development. Why do wealthy and powerful world leaders and organizations like the Vitamin Angel Alliance give so generously?

Studies reveal that one of the best predictors of our happiness is whether we consider our lives have a purpose: seven in 10 people report feeling satisfied with their lives when they connect with that purpose. Preventing blindness and malnutrition in Third World countries is one worthy purpose that mutually benefits both the givers and the receivers.

To find out more about the Vitamin Angel Alliance, visit their website at vitaminangel.org.

Vitamin Angels Were There:

Pakistan Earthquake

When one of the world’s most destructive earthquakes killed some 80,000 people in 2005, Mitch Skop, a Vitamin Angel spokesperson said, “We know what a difference basic nutrition can make and we’re committed to helping in the relief effort.”

Hurricane Katrina

When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Howard B. Schiffer, president of the Vitamin Angel Alliance, observed, “The first response when we saw those horrific photos was, ‘I’m so sorry for what happened to these people.’ Our next response was, ‘Let’s do something about it!?

Guatemalan Flood

Hurricane Stan created massive flooding in Guatemala in 2005, killing an estimated 2,000 people. Vitamin Angel Alliance issued a call for nutritional supplements and products to help victims avert a nutritional crisis in the region. “Disease is a big worry,” said Ken Herfst, a
Canadian helping with the relief effort. “It’s the kids we are worried about; they go down so fast.”

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