A Generous Industry

By  Paul Reuter, Chairman emeritus and contributing editor

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Each year CSP’s CARRE Foundation supports a major charity at our three major leadership conferences. We were honored to work with Feed My Starving Children ( www.fmsc.org) at our recent Outlook Leadership Conference.

The effort really got into high gear thanks to CSP’s Kay Segal and AIR-serv’s executive vice president, Andy Carr. Their combined vision and leadership got our teams energized to make Outlook’s result happen.

I am pleased to share with you this note Andy sent me right after Outlook:

“Feed My Starving Children is a Christian humanitarian relief organization that focuses on getting muchneeded food to the most desperate parts of the world. According to the most recent statistics from the World Health Organization, approximately 22,000 children age 5 and under die of starvation every day around the world. This is a horrible thing to think about, much less hear about and do nothing.” Feed My Starving Children has worked with food scientists at companies such as General Mills to develop a specific food formula that is designed to bring children on the brink of death back to health and give them a chance to get back to normal life. The food was designed to be packaged in vacuum-sealed bags that are easy to ship, handle and prepare. It contains chicken-flavored protein, vitamins, vegetables, soy and rice. Because it was designed to contain no meat, it is readily accepted in all religious and cultural circles.

“Last year FMSC shipped 127 million meals to 70 countries around the world. These meals were all packed in the United States by more than 500,000 volunteers. Another very important factor about FMSC is its model of efficiency. Because of the huge volunteer component of the packing, FMSC is able to convert 93% of each donation dollar it receives directly into food. Operating with only a 7% overhead is almost unheard of, and FMSC has received a five-star rating from Charity Navigator based upon this efficiency.

“There is a terrible problem with starvation around the world. … We have a way to fix this problem now. It is with the FMSC food. What is most desperately needed is to spread the word and generate more funds to support this cause. FMSC has the knowledge and process to produce double or triple the amount of food. ... Corporate events such as Outlook and partnerships with companies such as AIR-serv are a first for them. I can envision a day when FMSC will be a common household name here in the United States, and people will support the cause with both their money and by attending packing events in their communities.

“We can beat this terrible thing that is killing kids around the world. Our country has the wherewithal and compassion to respond.”

Andy and everyone at AIR-serv serve as corporate role models for all of us, and they should be very proud of what they are doing for so many. Our Arizona office has already had an afternoon packing outing, and our Chicago team is planning one for later this year.

Big thanks also go to our longtime CARRE sponsors, Nestle Waters North America and Mars Chocolate North America. And more thank-yous go to our committee members, Brian McCarthy of Blarney Castle Oil, Jay Ricker of Ricker Oil and John Zikias of Thorntons.

Thanks to all of you at Outlook—the 136 folks who gave up play time to pack more than 51,000 meals and all who contributed to the $42,000 donation Outlook provided to Feed My Starving Children. It’s an outstanding contribution, but in many ways it’s no surprise. This industry is a very compassionate and generous group and represents what is so good about the human spirit.

Perhaps the many comments I read from our conference survey sum it up best: “Loved the idea of a session to help others. This needs to continue to be part of every Outlook.” … “Enjoyed the CARRE Foundation charity and thought the participants working together for a common cause was a great networking and bonding activity.” … “My wife is an avid golfer and said this beats golf anytime.”

If you want to learn more, I suggest you contact Andy Carr at Andy.Carr@ air-serv.com or visit www.fmsc.org  

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