World Vision leader gave up corporate CEO job to help children

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by KREM.com, Laura Papetti

KREM.com

Posted on September 3, 2010 at 6:32 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 20 at 3:13 PM

SPOKANE -- Around town you may see signs about World Vision and a campaign called "Count on Spokane."

It's a effort between KREM 2 and the humanitarian group World Vision to get 2,600 children in third-world countries sponsored.

"It's a six-week campaign to teach people about kids around the world, what they face internationally," says World Vision President Rich Stearns. Stearns was in Spokane this week promoting the campaign and speaking about the need for humanitarian relief around the globe.

The former corporate CEO is now the leader of a worldwide charity that serves 100 million people in nearly 100 countries.

"More than a 1/3 of our planet," Stearns explains to a Spokane Rotary Club meeting, "two-point-four billion people live on less than $2 a day."

Stearns gave up a lucrative career as the president of the Lenox Tableware Company, took a 75% pay cut, and moved his family across the country to Seattle.

"I went from selling fine china to the wealthy to feeding the hungry," says Stearns. "It's been the greatest blessing to travel for work and to help them."

Stearns told the Rotary Club about the need to support neighbors, both locally and globally, so that children can thrive and show the world they can count on Spokane.

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