Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Drop a Pebble in the Water

This post is from Jeremy Chambers of Clean the World:

Drop a Pebble in the Water
Poet: James W. Foley
Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Recently, a pebble was dropped in the water by Lisa Chambers of Wilmington, NC.  Lisa is a nursing student at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and my sister.  Having been to Haiti on a medical missions trip this past spring, Lisa has developed a deep compassion for the people of Haiti.  When the disaster hit, she asked me how she could help.  We discussed a few different options; a soap drive, financial fund raising, but we finally settled on a bottled water drive.  We realized that water was going to be an absolute necessity for the people of Haiti, second only to medical supplies.

Lisa set out planning, making signs, and recruiting help.  Within a couple days she secured the use of two garages for storage at the Reserves at Forest Hills, a Penske Truck for shipping, and boxes for packaging loose supplies.  She planned a two-day water drive, from 3-10 pm.  Lisa and her roommate Rachel Smith began putting up signs, and had invited over 4000 area people via Facebook, of those, over 650 people confirmed their intent to participate.

The first day Lisa arrived to find cases of water that people had dropped off early.  Throughout the course of the next two days, they collected nearly 800 cases of bottled water, 100 gallons, and countless loose items from food to formula to medical supplies.  They estimate a value of nearly $10,000.00 in goods collected, as well as cash donations to help cover the cost of shipping.

Initially Clean the World had planned for one delivery truck to be driven down by one of our volunteers, with Allegiant Air flying them to Wilmington at no cost.  We however quickly realized this would not be enough; there was simply too much water for one truck.

Enter in Jacqui Leiblein. Lisa takes care of Jacqui’s child.  Jacqui also runs a Culligan water facility in Wilmington.  Jacqui donated two pallets of bottled water from her facility. She also arranged a second truck, drivers, and fuel to transport the supplies to Orlando. Jacqui was so moved by Clean the World’s disaster relief efforts that she spread the word to the International Bottled Water Association.  Suddenly there was a deluge of support for the devastated island nation.

Soon, Clean the World was being contacted by bottling facilities all over the country.  Within a week over 50,000 bottles of water arrived at our Orlando warehouse.  Close to that same number had been redirected straight to Miami to be loaded on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship bound for Haiti.  The water continues to flow in, and we in turn are sending it directly to those in Haiti who desperately need it. 

The amazing part for me is that this outpouring of generosity is all due to Lisa dropping a pebble in the water in Wilmington. This is living proof that one person can make a difference.  While there will always be those who doubt efforts such as these, I know that if we were to ask the people of Haiti “Are Lisa’s efforts are making a difference in your life”, they would respond with a resounding yes!  Lisa’s one simple act, the pebble dropped in the water, has certainly saved the lives of countless people who, without access to clean drinking water, would have surely died.

When you drop a pebble in the water, you never know how far those ripples will reach.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is amazingly awesome! Thanks for sharing the story with us.
Renee; Oviedo,FL

February 8, 2010 at 12:23 PM  

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