Connecting Communities for Clean Water

 

Connecting Communities for Clean Water

Field Note #226

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In partnership with Wine To Water, Renee and her son Alec Stein have made the incredible commitment to build 365 Sawyer filters for every day of the year. Alec is tackling this momentous task at a steady pace and with great excitement for his new hobby and purpose. Alec and Renee’s commitment is not only driven by their passion for clean water, but for their desire to see diverse communities connecting for the greater good. Renee recently shared her inspiration for her son’s campaign with our organization. This is her story.

I first learned about Wine To Water from David Richardson, Program Finance Coordinator and Special Olympics Coach, during a Special Olympics event in the Spring of 2018. My son, Alec, participated in one of David’s classes and we started talking about Wine To Water. I was captivated by his passion for the cause and became compelled to become a part of the global water crisis solution. At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure how I would be able to get involved. 

After learning of the global water crisis, it never went far from my thoughts and I recall returning to the Wine To Water website and discovering the filter build program. I spoke with David about the filters and he described a filter build. During this same time, I was looking for ways for my son to be more involved in his community. It wasn’t long after our discussion I made the connection that Alec could build filters for the global water crisis. 

Alec showing his friend David Richardson how it’s done!

Alec showing his friend David Richardson how it’s done!

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This would be an amazing opportunity for therapeutic benefits for Alec. Not only would the physical act of building filters further develop his fine motor skills, but this opportunity would help increase his attention span, expand his social interactions through his involvement with the W|W staff, and boost his self-esteem. At the same time, he would be helping families around the world gain access to clean water. 

During the Summer of 2018, I secured funding for the first 80 filters and developed a lesson plan for Alec to begin building filters. He built his first filter in September of 2018. He enjoyed it immensely and thrived from the new social interactions with the staff at Wine To Water. After the rapid adoption of his new found purpose, I soon realized we would need additional funding for more filters. In November of 2018, I started a campaign to fund more filters.

Alec is busy building filters and making new connections. He is enjoying much success in this endeavor. He has gleaned much self-worth and made lifelong friendships from his work with the W|W team. Ultimately, I would love to be able to provide other individuals with exceptional needs the same opportunity to build filters and provide clean water to those in need. 

It has brought me tremendous joy to be a part of these diverse communities through clean water. 

Anyone has the power to make a difference in their community. This is a belief that Renee is determined to share and make a reality in the lives of so many in her local and global community. Renee and Alec’s inspiring commitment is changing the lives of diverse communities from the inside out, and W|W is excited to continue supporting their endeavors through our Filter Build program.

 
Carsyn Bernhardt