Every year, the Union Rescue Mission (URM) serves over 700,000 meals to homeless men, women and children, with Herbalife employees do their part by volunteering to help prepare and serve nutritious protein shakes in the morning for families and people in need at the Los Angeles shelter.
Located in Skid Row – an area of downtown Los Angeles where the number of homeless in tents and cardboard boxes can swell from hundreds to thousands – the Union Rescue Mission has provided emergency services to those in need for over 120 years. And for several years now, Herbalife has been a partner in helping, through volunteer efforts, clothing drives and Herbalife® Formula 1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix donations. In fact, the mission presented its 2013 Humanitarian of the Year award to Diahanna Brown, Herbalife Vice President, Worldwide Events and Promotions.
Helping the community is a cornerstone of Herbalife culture. The company provides shake machines and Formula 1 so residents can enjoy nutritious shakes every weekday. Going even further, many employees and their families are moved to donate their time and services at the mission.
Herbalife Senior Manager of Sales Operations Andy Vazquez is tireless in his efforts to organize volunteers for the Union Rescue Mission. “These are the saddest times for the less fortunate and it’s great to see joy in their faces,” he says. “We provide them with healthy meals to help them through their day, and this gives us the opportunity to touch lives.”
Throughout the year during holidays, volunteers also hand out special items to families, such as soccer balls, shirts and windbreaker jackets. “Most importantly, we provided an ear, a smile and conversation to people who are down on their luck,” says Herbalife Director of Events Operations Cecil Strickland, who volunteered at the mission with his daughter.
Union Rescue Mission CEO Andy Bales considers Herbalife volunteers a key ingredient in the mission’s efforts to help the needy. “Herbalife volunteers are faithful, energetic and very giving,” he says. The shelter can house 810 people and serve 2,000 meals on an average day, and those numbers often skyrocket during holidays. “We are very thankful for the passionate and caring friends from Herbalife,” Bales says appreciatively.
For Vazquez, volunteering is a two-way street, noting that he’s learned to cherish what others often take for granted. “Simple things like having three meals a day; a warm, safe shelter; friends who care for you; and family,” he says. “And let’s not forget the most important thing of all: Good health.”
Herbalife Sales Operation Representative Giovanny Sanchez agrees, feeling grateful and blessed after recently volunteering at the URM. “What could be more breathtaking than to help those in need?” he asks. “Give it a shot, and I promise you it will change your perspective on life.”
To volunteer, donate or learn more about the life-changing work being done at the Union Rescue Mission, visit: www.URM.org.