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Lighthouse Volunteering Spotlight: Dana’s Story

In addition to hosting Lighthouse-sponsored volunteering opportunities for our employees through the Partners Give Back program, Lighthouse offers each full-time employee Volunteering Time Off, or VTO, to participate in nonprofit activities outside of work. Below is one example of a dedicated employee leveraging that time to participate in their community and give back to a cause that is near and dear to them.

1 in 10 people lack access to clean water.

2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation.

A child dies every 90 seconds from water-related illnesses.

These are startling statistics, and frankly, ones I was ignorant of until just a few short months ago.  When a friend introduced me to the organization Wine to Water and shared her experience of a service trip in 2014, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.  She shared how her time in Dominican Republic markedly and tangibly helped to change lives in a matter of days. That was all I needed to hear to sign up for a service trip of my own.

Knowing that I could leverage the Volunteer Time Off policy provided by Lighthouse and that I worked for a company who supports volunteer opportunities through the Partners Give Back program, I packed my bags and headed to Nepal with a team of volunteers from several states. We worked in three Nepalese villages over a period of eight days to install nine wells benefiting more than 600 people.

I was surprised by the low-tech installation process. A group of four volunteers pounded a pipe by hand into the ground, usually 30 to 60 feet until they struck water.

The water was then siphoned up by slapping the top of the pipe with an open palm. Next, the green hand pump was attached and, once cleaned, the water was ready to flow. The impact of the pump installation was immediate, as village residents were able to drink clean water, bathe, and wash clothes.

Wine to Water’s reach is global with service projects in the Amazon, Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, East Africa, and Nepal. To date, they have provided clean water to 500,000 people and are committed to reaching one million by 2019.