Humankind Blog


Read how Humankind is making a difference in communities across the world and get to know us a little better. 

Charity: Less Me, More We

Charity: Less Me, More We

Sometimes I don't know how to begin. My heart is heavy with passion, the weight of something that I'm sold out to. We pour ourselves into so many things over a day, a year, a lifetime. In the end we want to know that it was good, that it was right, that it mattered.

What is Charity?

There's a lot of conversations going on these days. If you hang out with enough humanitarians or just Google, you'll soon come across the question of charity. How we do it, why we do it, and if it should even be done. The truth of the matter is yes, it should be done, it needs to be done. I can no more walk away from someone with a need than to leave a bleeding person alongside the road.  As a nurse, I greatly understand the difference between helping and enabling. Sometimes, most times, it's not strictly a black and white situation. And here is where the conversation starts. Charity needs to be about more than just being a good person, it’s about offering a hand up, empowering. Offering a sustainable solution. It would it be ridiculous if I came up to that bleeding person on the road, handed them a Band-Aid, walked away and thought that I had actually done something.

 

Three Basic Forms of Charity

Charity can often be broken down into three large groups;

Emergency Relief - Those individuals that have an immediate need, most often caused because of a natural disaster or something completely unseen. Those affected have no capacity to help themselves most often because of an event like hurricane Katrina in the U.S. or the earthquakes that rocked Haiti and Nepal. Relief and support is mobilized immediately, one of the many reasons an organization like the Red Cross was established.

Perpetual Handouts - Unfortunately, this is often what we’ve come to know about charity. A lot of us will humbly admit that we’ve participated in this type of charity. No judgment friends, I too have been there. Thinking that I was doing right, my heart was in a very good place, and I meant well. I just hadn’t yet been educated to the damage created by handouts. Handouts in the immediate (emergency relief) is GOOD but if it’s still happening years later, then we’ve created a cycle that is very wrong and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. The facts speak for themselves on handouts, if donated dollars could have fixed the problem, it already would have.

Sustainable Solutions - The third type is one that creates a lasting impact and sustainable solution. In a lot of ways this is much harder because it requires a commitment and a teachable spirit. Nobody is riding in to the rescue. It's a process of listening, building relationships, and often a level of trial and error. It’s allowing those on the receiving end to “rescue” themselves by supporting entrepreneurship, job creation, and personal responsibility and ownership.

 

What Humankind Does: Hydro-Philanthropy

Humankind Water takes your dollars and partners with reputable organizations that are changing the way charity is done because we care about those affected and the way that we deliver help. Our partners work closely within the local community to provide empowerment- jobs, education, sustainability. We deliver immediate clean water solutions in order to decrease preventable illnesses, like cholera, and allow a temporary fix until the long term solution (a well or rain catchment system) can be established. As hydro-philanthropy evolves, we at Humankind Water do too, sometimes needing to change the formula for sustainable impact based on best practice. Our bottled water exists for the sole purpose of helping to eradicate the clean water crisis. We know better, and we strive to do better. Charity needs to empower those on the receiving end, otherwise the cycle continues.

I am pouring my heart and soul into something that is good and lasting. A bottle of HK is more than giving clean water, it's jobs, it's education, it's health. The best thing is that we’re partnering together to hope for a brighter future. All with the utmost respect to those impacted. 

Ripples

Ripples

Do we ever really know the impact of a spoken word, of a decision so small that we hardly consider it, of an action so minute that it’s forgotten as quickly as it happened?

Some of the very reasons that Humankind has grown, is because of these very things. I don’t know that we’re ever fully aware of this ripple effect because often we never see or hear what takes place further down the chain. We drop a pebble (our word, our decision) and walk away without ever knowing the full impact.

There’s a blessing that I’ve often felt in watching this effect. Sometimes I think Lancaster County, PA is a hotbed of grass roots growth. If you ever want to waste some hours of your day, just invite me for coffee. I have stories upon stories to entertain you with. One hair dresser shares with a client, home recently from Haiti, about another client who sells bottled water in order to dig wells in developing countries. One church goer says to another “hey, could we…?” One patient, waiting for surgery offers a name of a potential contact and the cascade starts all over again. This phenomena is amazing and exciting and astounding. Each person who has ever played a part in this ripple effect has truly helped grow something so much bigger than a handful of people could ever do on their own.

But my favorite, my FAVORITE (as though it could get better) is to stand at the end of those ripples, when I stare in to a pair of dark brown eyes who is grabbing my hand, or hugging me, or pressing their palms together and uttering their thanks. It’s an honor to know these little stories, these pebbles that have started off a ripple effect that has changed a future. When I say thank you- to YOU, it is not just from me but from them. The life that is changed because of the pebble you cast.

“I alone can not change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples” ~Mother Teresa

Boom

Boom

Boom. That’s our prayer for 2105. We want this thing to blow up.

That’s a good thing.

I ‘spose the “New Year’s Blog” could just as easily be filled with highlights from 2014. But there is so much exciting stuff going on as we look ahead, I can only bring myself to give a sparse sentence to 2014. It was amazing.

Ok, a couple more sentences. What we did, by God’s grace, that was bigger than any other single milestone, was to cross the coveted half million mark in our metric for serving. We measure in terms of “people years” of water (that is, the number of people serves times the number of years the well or filter will last as stated by a trustworthy third party). In 2014, we crossed over 500,000 people years of water. For that we are proud and humbled.

Some big deals happened this year too-doors opened for lots of possibilities and probabilities one of which was being asked to be THE water at Creation Fest, a HUGE christian music festival in northwest PA. 50,000+ people and a chance for me to take the main stage to announce another big deal- a partnership with Turkey Hill (look for us in stores starting next month).

We led our first HKW missions team to the Dominican Republic and 2014 saw the completion of our 64th water initiative in India.

But we have only scratched the surface.

We are finally moving into the facilities of at least three new major distributors. The moment the first of them kicks in (Turkey Hill, in February) we automatically double our number of retailers. My hope is to see our sales increase by at least 5x as well as the contributions to Give 100
2015 will mark the first time we have a sales force working for us. These aren’t technically Humankind employees. They’re folks who sell other brands of beverage and will be “pushing” Humankind as well. We’ve never had that before. Our numbers really are poised to explode.

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Our goal for 2015 is to go nationwide. That is what we’re praying for and working towards.

Undoubtedly, it will be hard work. I love the quote on the Beautiful Meg’s fridge. It’s from Victor Frankl: “What is to give light must endure the burning.” There will be sacrifices. But the payoff is in saved lives. That really oughtta wake you up in the morning.

On the philanthropy side, the number of wells and filters continue to increase. And the increase is accelerating. An anonymous donor allowed for the purchase of our first Human-powered drill. It is slated to drill its first well in February. Which I hope to see
We are holding a planning meeting/brainstorm-fest on how to see success at many of our new sales sites. The meeting will be the second week of January in Lancaster, PA. For details please contact me at my email, tj@humankindwater.org.

Thank YOU for all that you’ve done and will do to advance the mission of Humankind. It truly is more than just buying a bottle of water, it’s about changing a life. We here at HKW are humbled by the “tribe” that believes in, supports, and encourages this movement.

God bless and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

My Story

My Story

Albert Schweitzer said “in everyone’s life, at sometime, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit”

Many of you know me as “the Beautiful Meg”, a term of endearment bestowed on me by my sweet boyfriend. Today I wanted to share a little of myself. I feel like I know so many of you, because of meeting you in person or online. I am continually blessed by the people connected to HKW and your selfless ways of loving on others.

My story is of receiving a heavenly call to go and serve in Milot, Haiti just a few months after the 2010 earthquake. I’d never led a medical team, I’d never served oversees as a nurse and yet it wasn’t about all of my uncertainties, it was about obedience. My story is of meeting others and witnessing a way of life that shook me to my very core—I’ve truly been wrecked by Jesus, been deeply affected, and I’ve never recovered.

I’m a nurse, educated and trained to help others; to deliver healing, to promote health. Despite differences in culture and language barriers, at the end of the day we’re flesh and blood, water and molecules. None of us want to hurt, none of us want to be sick. I’ve been called to be a difference maker, turning illness into health . In the dust and heat of Haiti I felt that inner fire flame into an inferno. It wasn’t that I was unhappy with my place in life, I had just always felt that my call into nursing was going to be more than staying at the local hospital in my home county. I simply didn’t know what that feeling of “more” meant. So when I stood in Haiti, 24 hours after landing, I felt that inner spark surge and knew that THIS was what I was made for. THIS is why I was called into the field of medicine. THIS is what I would commitment my life to.

Eight weeks later I returned to Haiti and watched a country reel in fear and injustice. Political corruption laced with a disease that was killing people by the thousands created a perfect storm for a societal melt down. . People lay on cots in a hot cement room. IV bags ran dry and flies landed on still children. Pants were left looped around ankles and the ten gallon Home Depot buckets placed under cut holes in the cots filled with all that was inside those sick bodies. The word cholera became real to me and sent chills down my spine. It became so very obvious that for as long as I could treat those that were sick and dying- the vicious cycle would not end as long as healthy people were being returned to a dirty water source. All the medicine, all the vaccines, all the time and energy would not change the water where cholera still raged.

My spirit writhed and screamed that it shouldn’t be this way. The words infrastructure, clean water, and sanitation took root in my heart. I just didn’t know what it would look like. I didn’t know how I could impact what seemed like an insurmountable problem. I didn’t know that Humankind water was being planted in another’s heart and that two years later one small conversation would impact my life so greatly.

I believe in HKW because I’ve seen the other side. What life is like without safe drinking water. I’ve heard the wails of mama’s that will be burying their children, I’ve watched a country torn by lies-where fear and anger has reigned and riots have developed, I’ve looked into the eyes of someone who thinks I’m their only hope. So I tell their story, what I’ve seen and what I know and it may not be much but I passionately know this-it doesn’t have to be this way.

My story is of theirs, of serving those with no voice, and how it forever changed mine.

Christmas comes early for Humankind Water but…

Christmas comes early for Humankind Water but…

Can you imagine receiving the perfect gift only to discover that batteries are not included?

That’s exactly what’s happened to Humankind Water.

A very generous and anonymous donor has given Humankind Water a people powered, well digging, drill that provides needy communities with clean water.

There’s only one problem. Right now this perfect present sits idle. It still needs “batteries”.

During this holiday season, please consider having your family, church, company, or organization give or raise the $3500.00 to get the drill spinning and the water flowing. Every $3500.00 will provide a single well and we hope to fund no less than seven wells before the new year. Any size gift you give will help and is 100% tax deductible.

You can give instantly by visiting:

  1. Visit our Donate page
  2. Select a one time donation
  3. In the box marked purpose please type: “Batteries”
  4. Complete your donation through Paypal (you can either log into your Paypal account or, if you don’t have a Paypal account, simply click “continue” at the bottom of the page).

Or you can write a check to Give 100 (the giving arm of Humankind Water), write “Batteries” in the reference section and mail your life giving gift to:

Give 100
c/o Foresight Business Solutions
101 E. 8th Ave, Suite 104
Conshohocken, PA 19428
Attn: Ryan Correia

Seven wells can be dug almost as soon as funds are supplied. These seven wells will provide 70,000 “people years” of water and could help some people just make it to Christmas.

Now that’s a pretty darn close to perfect gift.