USANA Foundation Partners with Operation Underground Railroad

by Brittney Howell
logo for Operation Underground Railroad with four animated figures of tough-looking rescuers

It’s the start of a new year and a new chapter for the USANA Foundation: we moved to our new office, opened USANA Kids Eat, and have ongoing projects spanning the globe. As we enter 2020, we are excited to announce a new partnership with Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) in their mission to end human trafficking. OUR performs worldwide rescue and rehabilitation operations, saving the victims of trafficking and assisting in arrests of the perpetrators.

OUR has been in the news recently, including a sting operation in Lehi, Utah, which resulted in the arrests of 26 people involved in human trafficking. We are in awe at the heroic individuals involved in these rescues, and deeply admire OUR’s dedication to former victims and their emphasis on reconditioning.

Jessica Mass, the director of aftercare for OUR, illustrates how complex rehabilitation can be:

We try to find established after-care homes. Safe homes, education, mental health therapy, vocational training, and job placement—those are some of the things we look for before operations happen, so the children have somewhere to go when they’re rescued.” – Jessica Mass, Director of Aftercare, Operation Underground Railroad

Someone who has been so deeply scarred requires many elements to aid in their successful recovery. An important aspect is proper nutrition, as most victims endure malnourishment at the hands of their captors, and recovery homes have limited funding for wholesome foods.

Our mission is to ensure that impoverished children and families reach their fullest potential by providing food and nutrition. – USANA Foundation Mission Statement

With this new partnership, the Foundation will fund OUR programs for healing and filling nutritional needs of survivors. We started with two programs: a recovery home in Mexico City, Mexico and another in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Many of OAR’s survivors learn skills they can apply at future jobs.

Making a Difference in Mexico

Over 30 survivors live in an OUR-sponsored healing home in Mexico City, learning how to live normal lives as they prepare for the future. The Foundation funds food resources for the home and sponsors special training by a professional chef, who teaches food preparation and cooking classes. All the food they make is used to feed the home. In this way, individuals are learning safe and sanitary ways to prepare and cook a variety of foods. They will carry these valuable lifelong lessons with them when the time comes to leave the home.

Cooking classes feed the home and teach valuable lifelong lessons.

Healing Heartbreak in Malaysia

Forty girls in Kuala Lumpur, rescued from trafficking and living in an OUR-sponsored home, are at high-risk of being trafficked again due to financial and familial circumstances. Because of this, the after-care home is equipped to provide wholistic healing services, access to mental health professionals, education, vocational training, and post-care assistance for the girls. The Foundation’s involvement is opening a dialog concerning proper nutrition in the healing home, and monthly donations will mean increased overall nutritional value in every meal served there.

The USANA Foundation makes a difference all across the globe.

A New Year

How will you help shape 2020? Many of us look to improve physical health as a New Year’s resolution. Consider a feel-good goal to donate time or money each month to a charitable cause, as well. There are proven physiological benefits to volunteering, making time spent in the service of others a true win-win.

Leave a comment sharing the charitable resolutions you are committing to in 2020 and beyond. Keep your eyes on our blog for more results from our partnership with OUR and to learn about other USANA Foundation projects. Find us on social media @USANAFoundation or #USANAgives.

Remember, 100% of all donations made to the USANA Foundation always go to change the lives of those most in need around the world.

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USANA Foundation Live Episode 7 | Usana Foundation Blog October 20, 2020 - 11:10 pm

[…] children recover from the effects of sex trafficking. The USANA Foundation has been supporting OUR’s aftercare in Mexico and Malaysia this past […]

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