There are certain things you take for granted. For me, that includes taking a shower in the morning, brushing my teeth and shaving—without having to walk up to 10 miles round trip to retrieve the water. I just turn on the faucet, and the water comes out, simple as that.
But as I learned while writing a story on NAHAD's social initiative to raise money for a philanthropic group called charity: water, not everyone in the world has that convenience. In fact, about 10 percent of the world's population—more than 650 million people—don't have access to clean and safe water. To steal a line from Molly Mullins, associate executive director of the association, it truly is mind-boggling.
As I wrote this column, I caught myself drinking a glass of water mindlessly. It's something I do every day at work without giving it a thought. And that doesn't mention the ice cubes to keep it cold. Many days, I don't drink the full glass, wasting this precious commodity.
NAHAD is an association serving hose and accessory distributors, along with those manufacturing the hose and associated products. Its mission is to help its members find ways to run their businesses more successfully. But Jim Reilly of GHX Industrial, part of the United Distribution Group, thought NAHAD could be more as he served his year as president, and he suggested finding a charity to support. Though getting some resistance, it settled on seeking a global organization that looked to provide clean water to those in need—a charity that seemed in sync with those selling hose assemblies.
After some legwork by Mullins, they decided on charity: water. One thing the non-profit organization has done to promote its cause is teaming with Buzzfeed to produce a series of YouTube videos showing what happens when you can't use clean water in cooking. The short vignettes mimic those social media videos that show a recipe being made quickly step by step.
But these charity: water videos show the result when unsafe water is used when preparing such items as cornbread, lemonade and smoothies. Mullins calls the videos “stomach curling.” The tagline at the end is simple: Dirty water isn't tasty. For 663 million people, it's deadly.
NAHAD's goal isn't enormous, but it's a good way to test the water, if you don't mind the pun. The association wants to raise $10,000 by year's end, enough for charity: water to implement one clean water project where it's most needed.
Reilly said the intent was to keep it simple and small in scope, and see how it's received by the association members. But that's how change gets made. One step and one dollar at a time.
To make a donation to NAHAD's fundraising effort for charity: water, please go to: my.charitywater.org/NAHAD/NAHAD. (Yes, both “NAHADs” are necessary.)
Meyer is editor of Rubber & Plastics News. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @bmeyerRPN.