GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- He can't get their faces out
of his mind. Hundreds of orphans crowd around him, some smiling, others a
little sad. But almost all look up at him with expectant hope.
To Sam Caster, few things are more precious -- nor more worthy of a
helping hand -- than children in need. To assist these innocents, Caster
founded MannaRelief Ministries -- a non-profit organization that, since 1999,
has helped thousands of children in orphanages worldwide.
For this humanitarian effort, the Up With People International Alumni
Association has awarded Caster its James E. MacLennan Everyday Hero Award. The
award is given to Up With People alumni who exhibit leadership, intercultural
understanding and humanitarian outreach.
"Sam personifies the qualities of vision, compassion and leadership, which
are the hallmarks of both the Up With People experience and the James E.
MacLennan Everyday Hero Award," said Forrest "Duffy" Bledsoe, a co-founder and
past president of the Up With People Alumni Association. "We salute Sam for
sharing with the world his faith-in-action, which is demonstrated through his
humanitarian works with MannaRelief."
Caster is also the CEO and chairman of the board of Mannatech,
Incorporated, a global health and wellness company. He joined Up With People
at age 17 and traveled the world for three years, studying the culture,
economics and leadership of foreign nations. Over the years his travels to
less-fortunate countries inspired the founding of MannaRelief. One experience
in particular had a profound effect on his decision to launch the organization
In 1999 Caster began sending Mannatech's glyconutritional products to
orphans in Romania, where the harsh winters had a debilitating effect on the
children. The orphanage staff said the first year the children were on the
nutritional products, the incidence of disease dropped dramatically.
"My experience with Up With People and working with orphanages opened my
heart to understanding others and respecting their cultures," Caster said.
"It's given me a global perspective and a unique sense of purpose that I could
do something to help those in need."
Currently, MannaRelief supplies nutritional supplements to children with
serious health challenges living in orphanages in more than 72 countries. Each
child receives a combination of glyconutritional products that are purchased
at-cost from Mannatech, with help from a financial sponsor. Today, hundreds
of ministries are working together to deliver the products to children in more
than 300 orphanages.
MannaRelief's mission is to bless orphans and health challenged children
around the world with the love of God through world-changing nutritional
products designed to improve the quality of life and health. Founded in 1999,
and motivated by God's heart for the fatherless on Earth, MannaRelief is a
501(c)3 not-for-profit Christian organization that has now touched more than
47,000 children in 72 nations through its Hope and Blessing programs. For
more information about MannaRelief, visit www.mannarelief.org . For
interviews, please call Lexie Okeke at 817.574.2714 or email
Lexie Okeke, Communications Manager
P.O. Box 540669
Grand Prairie, TX 75054
SOURCE MannaRelief Ministries