Ever since the devastating earthquake in Haiti on Jan. 12, I have seen numerous news stories and press releases about water professionals donating time, equipment and expertise to relief efforts, specifically those providing clean, safe water to the displaced and distressed victims of the quake. Here are some noteworthy examples:
While many professionals have already come to the aid of Haiti, a glance at the newspaper will offer many other opportunities to get involved in similar efforts. Another earthquake—this one recorded at a magnitude of 8.8—hit Chile on Feb. 27, with a death toll of at least 800.
We all have specific skills and talents that we can offer. In times of catastrophe, the skills and knowledge of a water treatment professional are incredibly valuable. Everyone may see stories about the lack of clean drinking water on the news, but you have access to the knowledge and products that can remedy the situation and even save lives.
If you have the capabilities to get involved in international relief efforts, get started right away. Even if the media stops covering these disasters after a month or two, recovery for the affected populations will take years.
If you feel you are not capable of putting together an international relief effort on your own or shipping equipment overseas, don’t just give up. Partner with other water professionals in your local or regional network, or even with other businesses in your community, and pool your resources and ideas.
Even on your own, you could place an advertisement announcing that 10% of all sales from a certain day or week will go to benefit a reputable charity that is providing clean water around the world. Or, donate a percentage of bottled water sales to providing bottled water to those in need. Beginning a partnership with a charitable organization now, or even launching your own relief effort, could enrich your life and business for years, attract employees and establish your reputation as a business that cares.