How One Book Has Provided Orphans in Haiti with 30,000 Meals and Counting!

Can a book really solve world hunger? Maybe not, but this one is practicing what it preaches, and feeding hungry children in Haiti and around the globe.

How-One-Book-Is-Helping-Feed-OrphansCourtesy Jen Babakhan

Chris Marlow, a pastor, husband, and father of two, would say that his life prior to 2009 was good, but ordinary. Then a mission trip to Zimbabwe turned his entire world view upside down, and he returned to his home in Raleigh, North Carolina, a changed man.

It was on this trip that Marlow was confronted with the reality of extreme poverty that showed itself unflinchingly in the faces of starving children begging for food. One orphaned boy, in particular, who slept on the concrete floor of an abandoned gas station with dozens of other orphaned children, shifted the direction of Marlow’s life’s work forever.

The young boy begged Marlow to allow him to work for him in exchange for food, as he had not eaten in days and was starving. It was an interaction that Marlow could not forget as he spent the following days of the trip driving through dusty roads and desperation, determined to find a way to feed the hungry orphans.

Marlow went on to found Help One Now, a non-profit organization that equips ordinary people to help provide food, shelter, and education to vulnerable children in Africa, Haiti, and around the world through simple acts of generosity. In 2016 he published his first book, Doing Good is Simple, the story of his transformative experience with the reality of dire poverty, as a guide for others looking to make a positive difference in the world from right where they are.

Marlow told Reader’s Digest of his inspiration for writing the book: “I wanted to talk about justice in a different way. Every day, normal people need to realize that God wants to use them to make a big impact in the world by making small, simple, yet significant steps each and every day to make a difference.”

How-One-Book-Is-Helping-Feed-OrphansCourtesy Jen Babakhan

The book does more than encourage people to do good—it puts the suggestion into action with every purchase. “Early on, we decided that we would use the proceeds of Doing Good Is Simple to provide meals to children in our communities around the world,” Marlow explains. “Every book that is sold will provide five meals to children in one of our communities. In the first 30 days after the book’s release, we hit over 30,000 meals.” Help One Now is currently working to aid Haiti in the disaster relief of Hurricane Matthew.

Marlow encourages those interested in working with the organization to think of ways to help that fit their individual personalities and lifestyles. “You can definitely give to something like our Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund, which is helping rebuild churches, schools, and businesses after the hurricane. You could sponsor a child,” he says. “But what we really love to see is when you advocate for us. For example, you could recruit your church, friends, or neighborhood and throw a garage sale for orphans. Or, you could think about your own human capital—your passions and skills—and brainstorm ways that you could solve real problems that children face in struggling communities in Haiti.”

How-One-Book-Is-Helping-Feed-OrphansCourtesy Jen Babakhan

And if you’re looking to help with hunger relief closer to home, here are the things food pantries really want you to know.


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Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Jen Babakhan
Jen Babakhan is an author and credentialed educator living in California. She writes regularly about advice and culture for Reader's Digest. She is also the author of Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey From Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom (Harvest House Publishers, 2019). She earned her BA in Communication Studies from California State University, Stanislaus. You can follow her on Instagram @JenBabakhan , Twitter @JenBabakhan, and Facebook @JenBabakhanauthor.