Hi everyone! Do you remember back in November when I shared Kristin's work in India with all of you? And in that post I said-
Outside of this bubble we live in, there is so much more going on in the world. It's easy to get caught up in your daily life and forget this- I know I am guilty of often having a one-track "me me me" mindset, and not looking or thinking outside of where I very comfortably sit. But one of my biggest goals for this next year (and now) is to make a difference, and that's where this blog comes in.
Since then it's been on my heart to continue posting about awesome groups doing great work, and today I'm here to share my friend Kyle and his organization with all of you. There are so many charities and organizations out there, and it's often hard to know where to invest your time, energy, and even money. That's why I love that I am able to use this platform to share the work of people I know, and spread the word about the causes they are working for. Like I mentioned above, today we are hearing from my friend Kyle. He's going to tell you all about his philanthropic organization, and if you're so inclined, feel free to visit their website, check out their work, and even share about ThirstTees via your own blog or twitter. As always, thank you all so much for reading! I'll hand it over to Kyle now...
I have recently been blessed with the opportunity to start a philanthropic clothing line called ThirstTees (www.thirsttees.com). Every tee purchased provides one person with 25 year of clean water. We are able to do this through a partnership with a non-profit called Thirst Relief International (thirstfelief.org), that builds wells and water purifiers in Africa and South America.
The origin of ThirstTees began with a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil I took while still in college. I had the opportunity to work with a group of kids living in the favelas (slums). I had seen the pictures and heard the stories about the hardships of different parts of the world, but it never really hits you until you see it with your own eyes. While I was down there, we visited the homes of numerous families and listened to the stories of what they faced each day. They essentially live in shacks made of any materials they can find. Their electricity is stolen from the city and the sewage system consisted of PVC pipes leading to an open river flowing through town (it's hard to forget the smell). However, the mothers were focusing their stories on the concerns of how to keep their 10 and 11 year old children away from prostitution and drugs. How could that already be a concern in a child's life? It was shocking. The problem was the parents didn't have the time to keep their children away from these issues because they were struggling to simply provide food and water for them. It quickly puts the issues of an American lifestyle in perspective. I knew that I wanted to do something to help- and you can check out the full Founders Story if you'd like to learn more about that.
After returning home, I finished school and ended up traveling to New Zealand with my brother for eight months. While we were there, we researched how to start a business between cleaning toilets and making beds to pay for our accommodation. I also began to research more about the water crisis. The more I learned, the more I realized clean water was a HUGE issues that leads to numerous problems around the world.
- Every 19 seconds a child dies from a water related illness.
- Disease from unsafe drinking water kills more people then all forms of violence combined, including war.
- More people on this earth have cell phones then access to a toilet. (More facts here)
All of the time and effort spent on finding clean water is time missed in school, taking care of a family or earning an income. Water is where it starts. Our world has made incredible leaps forward in our capabilities, but through our progress, we have left too many people behind.
At ThirstTees, we believe that a life of joy and fulfillment comes down to giving to others. Focusing on others needs before your own. I do not claim to be an expert on this. I actually struggle with this daily and that is why I wanted to create something where I could devote my life to focusing on others. My goal was to make it simple and easy for my friends and family to help someone across the world that they will never see or meet. We are all connected. What happens on the other side of the world impacts how our businesses operate and the choices our government makes, which then trickles down to our individual lives. Until we start to see the world as one connected unit, we will stay on the same path that many people are not happy with. However, as soon as we take our eyes off of ourselves and put them on others, change will follow.
We would love it if you would join our movement to end thirst, because no one should be thirsty (ThirstTee). Check out our blog, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook, circle us on Google+, and most importantly, purchase a tee and change the next 25 years of a person's life.