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Wine to Water

I enjoy wine!  A nice cold white wine on a warm summer night or a red wine to warm me from the inside on a cool winter evening.  Actually, I am enjoying a glass from a local vineyard right now.  So, when I found a non-profit that uses wine to make a difference, I was intrigued. 

When Doc Hendley was in college at North Carolina State University, he was working as a bartender and looking for a way to make a lasting impact on the world.  Once he discovered the magnitude of the world’s water crisis, he began to help in the only way he knew how, pouring drinks and playing music.  He held several events he called “Wine to Water” nights at the bar he worked at and with the help of his friends and regulars at the bar he raised money.  After six months, he took a trip to Darfur, Sudan to fight the water crisis first hand.  After he returned he founded Wine to Water as an official 501c3 nonprofit in Boone, North Carolina in 2007 proving you do not have to be a celebrity to make a difference. You simply must have enough courage to take the first step and the passion to keep going.

WIne to Water

Wine to Water is a unique organization because of its origins in a bar.  A CEO may be enjoying a drink at the bar next to a mechanic and through this organization they can come together for the same goal of fighting the world’s water crisis. 

The mission of Wine to Water is to provide clean water to people in need around the world through the most sustainable methods possible.  They believe that the relationship they form in the process is just as important as the end result, so they strive to work with local people for each project they facilitate.  This helps them cultivate a lasting relationship and leave the local community with the knowledge and tools to continue the work that was started by their organization.

In 2009, Wine to Water expanded by starting their own wine label.  They currently have 5 varieties available through a partnership with the Bliss Family Vineyards in Mendocino County, California.  Approximately $7 from each bottle sold is donated to the Wine to Water mission to fight the water crisis in countries such as Sudan, India, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Haiti.

Wine to Water has reached over 100,000 people with clean water.  Each of their projects is different and requires a different method to achieve the maximum impact.  Some of their methods include deep and shallow wells, hand-pump well repair, ceramic water filters, bio-sand water filters, rainwater harvest tanks, latrine installation, and hygiene education programs.  One example of a recent project in Haiti is a partnership with FilturePure for a ceramic water filter factory run by local Haitians.

How can you help?

  • You can host your own Wine to Water event at a local bar, restaurant, or home.  A typical event involves a wine tasting and a discussion about the world’s water crisis.  You can download a variety of tools to help plan and run your event on their website.    
  • You can purchase wines through winetowater.com to help support their mission.
  • You can also make donations directly to the organization or their specific projects on their website.

You can learn more about the Wine to Water organization on their website, www.winetowater.org.  You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Posts: Nisha Varghese and Shoeman Water Projects

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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Nisha Varghese

I am a lucky person…I have never had to wonder where my next meal or glass of water will come from.  Not everyone is that lucky.  Today I am profiling a volunteer that believes no human being should die because of lack of water or food.

Many of us have heard of The Water Project – they are an organization that brings relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.  Nisha Varghese set a goal in March 2010 to raise $6,500 for The Water Project.  This is the average cost of building a well in Africa or India.  She created a fundraising site through FirstGiving.com to collect donations and has promoted her fundraising efforts on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.  She has already raised over $6,000 and with our help she can meet (and maybe even exceed) her goal.

Nisha doesn’t stop there.  She also created another project called Virginia’s Sandwich Run.  The idea is simple, raise enough money to put together 48 sandwiches a week for the people in her current housekeeper’s neighborhood.    This project is named for the housekeeper that Nisha’s family had as a child.  According to Nisha, Virginia was a person who gave her best to the world and the people around her.  You can make a donation to Nisha’s sandwich project here.

When I asked Nisha why she volunteers she said, “I believe that it is up to each and every one of us to create the world we want.”  Her most memorable volunteer experience is “knowing that 15-20 kids don’t go to bed hungry because I spent an hour every Saturday making sandwiches.”

Nisha recommends that those who are new to volunteering should contact their local homeless shelter for volunteer opportunities.  Nisha is an inspiring 20 year old who is wheelchair bound as a result of Cerebral Palsy.  She says, “if I can be of service to the world in spite of my ‘disability’, nobody else has an excuse not to be.”

Update: Nisha’s fundraiser is complete and the well has been built!  Stop by The Water Project to see photos of the well.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Volunteer Profile

 

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Shoeman Water Projects

Turning donated shoes into drinkable fresh water would take one heck of a water purification system. A feat Rumplestiltskin might be so lucky to achieve. But George P. Hutchings, founder of Shoeman Water Projects, is doing just that.

Through a non-profit arm of Eagle Wing Ministries – founded by Hutchings – Shoeman Water Projects collects donated used and new shoes from businesses, churches, schools, special events, and shoe drives. These shoes are then shipped to retailers in the developing world, and resold as affordable footwear. Since there is a definite need for footwear in developing worlds, to protect against all forms of foot injuries and illnesses, this is a true act of altruism. But, the story doesn’t end here. The proceeds of these sales are then donated to provide water purification systems, well drilling rigs, and businesses that bring fresh water to regions in need of potable water supply.

Hutchings, who goes by the moniker of “The Shoeman” is a former Marine, and served in Vietnam. He founded Eagle Wing Ministries in 1994 as a non-profit charity dedicated to humanitarian and educational opportunities. Since 1998, Eagle Wing Ministries has supplied Kenya with 21,000 meals for orphans, and $2 million in medical supplies, dental labs, neurosurgeons for pediatric facial reconstructions. But in ten years of traveling back to Kenya, Hutchings noted that without clean water, all other aid would, “be a momentary stop-gap”. Thus, Shoeman Water Projects was born.

Since Shoeman Water Projects began, in August of 2008, the project has collected over 1.4 million pairs of shoes resulting in the purchase of 4 water-well drilling rigs, which has dug more than 250 wells serving 200,000 people. Additionally, water purification systems have been installed and well pump repairs serving schools, clinics, and villages across the globe have been funded – including dry areas in Kenya, and Haiti.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit http://www.shoeman.org/. While there, click the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr icons to connect with them on social media.  You can also search by zip code to find the nearest shoe drop off location on their website.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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