Ross & Dani Clevens’ ‘Face of Change’ Feeds Needy Worldwide
By Space Coast Medicine and Active Living // November 26, 2012
2012 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN
Creating Positive Change In The Lives Of Hungry Children
Some trips can significantly alter a person’s life. For Melbourne facial plastic surgeon Dr. Ross Clevens and his wife Dani Clevens, a journey of mercy with their teen son proved to not only transform his life, but also the lives of thousands here and abroad.
A couple of years ago, Clevens and his younger son joined one of the medical and humanitarian missions organized by Outreach International, a non-sectarian organization that does not believe in handouts, but rather in sustainable solutions and long-lasting change to help the poorest of the poor in 13 countries plagued by drought, disease and famine.
In the East African nation of Tanzania, the two Clevens men helped with Outreach’s medical missions and its clean water projects and feeding centers for children orphaned by AIDs. Although Clevens routinely spent 12 hours a day performing surgical procedures to correct cleft lips, burns and other traumatic wounds left behind by lack of medical care, he could not help noticing that food was as critical as health care for the people of this impoverished nation.
“They feed 500 children every day at that center, and that is the only meal these kids get,” said Dani. “It was a life-changing experience to help these kids.”
The poverty, hunger and suffering Clevens witnessed so moved him that he pledged to do more. In 2010, the Dani and Ross created Face of Change, a nonprofit charitable organization that coordinates medical, education and hunger relief programs to the underserved here and in other parts of the world.
Face of Change recently hosted its third meal packaging event this October to benefit families in Brevard County. The first Face of Change event, held January of 2011, attracted 600 volunteers who packaged more than 100,000 meals that met United Nations standards for nutrition.
These meals were then sent to Africa to help feed starving women and children there. In September of the last year, another 100,000 meals were shipped to Tanzania, but an additional 100,000 remained in Brevard to help local families. The meals are prepared for long shelf life, yet offer the needed protein, starch, vitamins and minerals.
Dani and Ross Clevens’ Face of Change has teamed up with local organizations such as Project Hunger and the Brevard Hunger Alliance to help meet the needs of local impoverished families. “I believe a lot of people don’t realize the immensity of the local need,” said Dani. The physician, a Phi Beta Kappa from Yale and a magna cum laude graduate from Harvard Medical School, also sets aside several weeks out of his busy practice to travel abroad to care for the world’s neediest. “We all need to step up to the plate to provide food and medical care to the neediest in our own backyard and abroad,” said Dr. Clevens.
Using a Relay for Life model, Face of Change challenges volunteer teams from corporations and organizations to help with the packaging and the fundraising needed to purchase the food.
“Our goal is to continue to host these events to benefit those in need both locally and abroad,” said Dr. Clevens. “These events bring our community together and create positive change in the lives of hungry children.”
Clevens’ Face of Change has teamed up with local organizations such as Project Hunger and the Brevard Hunger Alliance to help meet the needs of local impoverished families. “I believe a lot of people don’t realize the immensity of the local need,” said Dr. Clevens.
The physician, a Phi Beta Kappa from Yale and a magna cum laude graduate from Harvard Medical School, also sets aside several weeks out of his busy practice to travel abroad to care for the world’s neediest.
Dani is the mastermind and driving force using her Harvard Masters degree in public health to positively affect the lives of thousands of impovershed souls here and around in the world. This wonderful humanitarian leader is also helping our local womens center to raise important financial support.
“We all need to step up to the plate to provide food and medical care to the neediest in our own backyard and abroad,” she said.
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The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 40 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, MPAC ACO, Community Credit Union, Kindred Hospital, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com.