Doc Hendley, author of Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World, was a motorcycle riding, hard drinking North Carolinian bartender who spent much of his high school and college years partying. He hung out with a rough group of people and never shied away from the occasional bar fight. A semester before graduating from college he met a woman who told him about an international aid organization called Samaritan’s Purse. As Doc started researching the organization, he learned of the water crisis present in many countries around the world. He found that one of every six people on earth does not have a ready supply of clean water.
‘Unclean water kills a child every twenty seconds and is more lethal than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined’.
Soon after, Doc founded his own organization, Wine to Water, to provide clean water to needy people around the world. What began at a local fund-raiser has become an international aid group. Hendley then spent a year helping to dig wells and bring clean water to people in war-torn Darfur. On a shoestring budget, his organization opened a Wine to Water training facility in Uganda, constructed several wells in Cambodia, put in a new water system in a leper colony in India and drilled wells for an orphanage in Peru and a region in Ethiopia.
When Hendley was nominated for and became one of CNN’s 2009 Top 10 Heroes, Wine to Water raised more and more money as it began to benefit from the positive publicity. Today, they continue their volunteer projects with activities such as distributing water filters to earthquake stricken Haiti after the 2010 earthquake devastated that country.
Reading this matter of fact account of Hendley’s humanitarian work makes you proud that there are still young Americans willing to invest their time and their lives in the pursuit of helping others. Please read his story and also visit www.winetowater.org where you can learn more about the organization and what they have accomplished. Maybe you can help, too!