Cover Story: Food for Lucinia
During Q1 2013, the DRTV program titled "The Least of These" saw a $22 average monthly pledge, a $70 one-time gift and between 60 percent and 65 percent of donations come from monthly givers, says Amy Hunter, vice president and group director at Pasadena, Calif.-based Russ Reid Company. She worked with Food for the Poor to create the television spots and was helping create more as of presstime.
"I have to say that it has helped tremendously with promoting our brand," Aloma says of his charity that provides food, housing, medicine, education and more to people who need it in 17 Caribbean and Latin American countries. Chuckling, he adds, "Because when I go to different conferences … they don't ask me for a food pantry. They kind of know who we are now."
Lucinia Adds Dimension
"We have met kids that are really at the cusp of dying by the time we get to them," Aloma says.
There's that—an intellectual reason to give.
"Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has one of the highest mortality rates of children," Aloma says. "Guatemala is a country in the Western Hemisphere with the highest degree of child malnutrition and stuntedness related to malnutrition … about 50 percent of their children are malnourished. And when you go into the mountains, you see it from babies up to 7-, 8-, 9-year-olds. We met a 7-year-old that weighed 29 pounds. So it's really severe, severe malnutrition—with all the different symptoms of kwashiorkor and marasmus and all of these different ailments that come from malnutrition that can often be deadly."
Hearing the disembodied facts—Lucinia is a toddler, living with her mother and two sisters in a parasite and bacteria-laden swamp in which she almost drowned—is far different from seeing the smiling little girl who hasn't eaten in three days.