June 01, 2012
Nu Skin: Bravo Humanitarian Award
by J.M. Emmert
Table of Contents
Intro • Global Outlook • Why the Global 100? • The 2011 DSN Global 100: The Top 10 • The 2011 DSN Global 100: 11-100 • Topping the Charts • DSN Global 100 • The $100 Million Club • Celebrating the DSN Global 100
Greg Darlington, Vice President of Marketing for Nu Skin, accepts the Bravo Humanitarian Award at the DSN Global 100 Celebration held in April.
Seven-year-old Alinafe Billiat lives in the village of Chibimphi in Malawi with her two siblings, Michael and Charity. Both of their parents are deceased.
Eleven-year-old Xie Rongxue is from China. Her family makes the equivalent of US$75 a year.
Tupiza, a seven-year-old boy from Bolivia, lost his father a few years ago. Now he works in the mines to help support his family.
What these children have in common is hunger, a constant ache in their bellies brought on by malnutrition. And they are not alone. There are tens of millions of children around the world today who are underfed. On average, 26,000 of those children under the age of five die daily.
However, hope lives for these children. Since 2002, Nu Skin Enterprises, the Provo, Utah-based global nutritional company, has made its mission to provide the world’s malnourished children with the nutritious food they desperately need. Alinafe, Xie and Tupiza are just three of the millions of children touched by the company’s social entrepreneurship initiative that has, to date, donated more than 257 million meals to hungry children everywhere.
The Bravo Award
For the real and tangible difference Nu Skin and its distributors, employees and customers have made and continue to make in the lives of malnourished children throughout the world, Direct Selling News presented the company with the 2011 Bravo Humanitarian Award.
“It is an honor to be recognized by Direct Selling News and to receive the Bravo Humanitarian Award,” says Truman Hunt, CEO of Nu Skin. “This industry has such a capacity for doing good throughout the world and we are pleased to be able to unite the Nu Skin family of distributors, customers and employees in innovative efforts that multiply our ability to nourish and uplift children around the world.”
Social Entrepreneurship: Nourish the Children
The direct selling industry is an industry that is generous by nature, and nowhere is that more evident than at Nu Skin. In 2002, Nu Skin initiated a new program focused directly on malnourished children: the Nourish the Children initiative. The initiative provided another way for Nu Skin to fulfill its mission to be a force for good throughout the world.
The for-profit program began as a social enterprise in which Nu Skin distributors became social entrepreneurs by including the Nourish the Children initiative as part of their business model. As distributors incorporated VitaMeal®—Nu Skin’s nutritious food supplement—into their business, they not only helped their businesses grow, but they also made a real and tangible difference in the lives of malnourished children throughout the world.
Through the initiative, Nourish the Children creates consistent and increasing food donations by offering an incentive to buy, donate and promote VitaMeal. In the first quarter of 2012, 27,429 of Nu Skin’s 842,079 active distributors participated in Nourish the Children. In addition, the company contributed one package of food—enough to feed a child for a month—for every eight packages of food purchased.
“We are fortunate to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves,” says Steven J. Lund, Founder and Vice Chairman of Nu Skin Enterprises. “Malnutrition is rampant in many parts of the world and we are actively fighting it. We are providing hope and eliminating hunger with every bag of VitaMeal we distribute. There is so much more to be done, but with the help of the Nu Skin family of distributors, we are feeding hundreds of thousands of children each day.”
VitaMeal: “The Miracle Food”
A malnourished child suffers from vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can affect brain, bone and immune system development. Typically, it is a vicious cycle—bouts of infection and diarrhea followed by even more severe malnutrition.
Nu Skin’s VitaMeal helps break this cycle by providing a highly dense, nutritious product—specially formulated for malnourished children—that is more easily digestible. Nu Skin’s extensive knowledge in nutrition—through the company’s nutritional division, Pharmanex—and work with experts in third-world countries, has developed a meal that is a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber, and provides essential fatty acids required for normal brain development, skin health and immune defense; electrolytes necessary for maintaining normal fluid balance and muscle function; and 25 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, for normal sight and immune functions, as well as nutrients for normal growth and skeletal development.
While VitaMeal is very important in providing nourishment for children, the meals donated through Nourish the Children also create additional opportunities to assist those in need through education, jobs and teaching self-sufficiency.
In addition to orphanages, VitaMeal is also served in schools, encouraging children to attend and benefit from education. Some clinics even use it to encourage pregnant women to attend AIDS prevention classes.
VitaMeal, through the Nourish the Children initiative, is also helping to boost local economies. The VitaMeal plants in Malawi and China help reduce transportation costs and assist in supporting local economies.
Additionally, portions of the proceeds from VitaMeal purchases are donated to the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation where the money is used in part to fund agricultural education at Mtalimanja Village in Malawi.
A Force for Good
In addition to its Nourish the Children initiative, Nu Skin has also contributed more than $41 million to life-changing projects benefitting children and families in 52 markets worldwide through its non-profit organization, the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation.
In 2011, its 15th year of operation, the Foundation contributed $18,808,146 to educational, health, economic, disaster relief and community programs throughout the world.
Why such a commitment to corporate social responsibility? It was the desire of Co-Founder Blake Roney that Nu Skin be more than a company with great products and opportunities—that it be a force for good in the world.
“People typically become a direct seller to improve their life and the lives of others,” says Kara Schneck, Director of Communications for Nu Skin. “That desire is an important driver of their business success, as well as their passion for making a difference in the world. Additionally, the direct selling model brings together dedicated and passionate people, providing a vehicle for them to unite around a good cause. We are proud to be part of an industry that empowers people to make a difference in the world in such meaningful and tangible ways.”
Improving the Lives of Children
In 2011, Nu Skin’s family of distributors and customers purchased and donated more than 40 million units of VitaMeal for malnourished children in 19 countries.
Many of these children are orphans whose lives have changed dramatically for the better. Thanks to the generosity of Nu Skin’s distributors, employees and other supporters, today more than 50,000 children are fed each day in Malawi alone.
“The driving force behind Nu Skin has always been, and will always be, improving people’s lives,” says Lund. “This is the Nu Skin culture, and it is evident in everything we do, everything we are, and everything we strive to become.”
It’s evident, too, in the children like Alinafe who receive the nourishment to grow up healthy and happy. She says, “May the good Lord bless all the people who are working so hard in order to feed us.”