By Sue Farrington, Herbalife Nutrition Independent Distributor
Giving back and being involved with Herbalife Family Foundation (HFF) is very personal for me. I feel grateful, because when I was at a low point in my life, the Herbalife Nutrition community was the helping hand I needed. When I joined, I learned that there were choices and opportunities that just weren’t there before.
Since 2013, my son and I have been blessed to be operating a nutrition club, Fit Livin’, in the Worcester, Massachusetts area. To share some of my good fortune, I have been fundraising for HFF since its establishment in 1994. 22 years later in 2015, a team of distributors and I began working on the creation of a local HFF Casa Herbalife program. The organization we chose to partner with is called Friendly House.
Friendly House is close to me because it helps children and families in my community. I took the lead in planning and fundraising, and was so excited to find out that we were opening on my birthday in July 2016. I couldn’t have had a better present and distributors from around New England were there in support.
The grant HFF makes to Friendly House is for fitness programs and nutrition education. There are so many people out there that don’t have guidance when it comes to nutrition and health. Changing these kids’ eating habits is the biggest thing. When you don’t have money or you’re on a fixed income, your food choices are very often not good or nutritious.
Every week at Friendly House, distributors from all over New England, including myself, teach fun classes on the importance of nutrition. One of the classes, for example, addresses sugar in foods, sports drinks and beverages. Fitness classes are high energy and often include team games like basketball.
One really great thing about Friendly House is that my whole family is involved. My daughter and son cooked nutritious food for 100 people during an orientation event and both of them volunteer for Friendly House activities. And to kick-start fundraising for the new Casa Herbalife before it existed, my kids organized a 5K charity run.
Creating a new Casa Herbalife and getting others involved takes passion. And now that we’ve gotten started, keeping the momentum going is important. I regularly reach out to distributors to volunteer and donate. Recently, we organized a Thanksgiving drive and distributed turkeys. And as part of a back-to-school drive, we distributed hundreds of backpacks.
Through donations and the help of volunteers, we have also improved the Friendly House grounds. Distributors and volunteers pitched in to paint donated picnic tables and plant a garden for the children.
Some day, we hope to establish a scholarship fund for the children of Worcester, so that they can become leaders who positively impact their community. It would also be wonderful to make some infrastructure improvements to Friendly House.
In my experience as a volunteer, I have noticed that a lot of people are good at giving money, but it’s not always easy to get people to give their time. And while the money is necessary and greatly appreciated, I believe these children need our time more than anything else.