The captivating story of an ordinary bartender who's changing the world through clean water.
Doc Hendley never set out to be a hero. In 2004, Hendley-a small- town bartender- launched a series of wine-tasting events to raise funds for clean-water projects and to bring awareness to the world's freshwater crisis. He planned to donate the proceeds through traditional channels, but instead found himself traveling to one of the world's most dangerous hot spots: Darfur, Sudan.
There, Doc witnessed a government-sponsored genocide where the number-one weapon wasn't bullets-it was water. The Janjaweed terrorists had figured out that shooting up a bladder containing 10,000 liters of water, or dumping rotting corpses into a primary water source is remarkably efficient for the purposes of mass extermination. With limited funds, Doc realized that he couldn't build new wells costing $10,000 a pop, but he could hire local workers to restore a damaged well for a mere $50 each. He'd found his mission. Today, Doc and Wine to Water continue to help stricken peoples repair and maintain water- containment systems in places like Darfur, Cambodia, Uganda, and Haiti.
Doc is a regular, rough-and-tumble guy who loves booze, music, and his Harley- but he also wanted to help. Wine to Water is a gripping story about braving tribal warfare and natural disasters and encountering fascinating characters in far-flung regions of the world. It is also an authoritative account of a global crisis and an inspirational tale that proves how ordinary people can improve the world.
When Hendley learned about the world water crisis and that "unclean water kills a child every twenty seconds" he was just a bartender in a small town in North Carolina who spent most of his time drinking and playing music in bars or riding his Harley. In an effort to raise money for clean-water projects, he did what he knew best and threw fund-raising parties, which led to his founding the nonprofit Wine to Water. Hendley, who was named a CNN Hero in 2010, made sure his organization's funds directly benefited those in need, and he became an aid worker in Darfur, Sudan. Whether he is describing being shot at by the janjaweed militia; the dedication of his who co-workers who pray five times a day; how to dig a grave in the desert; or children's excitement when a well starts pumping out water, he illuminates the facts of the crises in a very human way. Hendley's humanitarian work in Africa (and Haiti, where he headed after the 2010 earthquake) is inspiring, especially considering how many lives he has influenced despite how little he knew about water problems before he started. At the core, however, is the story of Hendley himself: a coming-of-age tale about a young man who as a teen rebelled against his "preacher man" dad to become "the life of the party" only to figure out that he "didn't have to be a perfect do-gooder to actually do some good in this world."
An inspiring journey in which the next adventure around the corner is unpredictable. More importantly, this story is a reminder to us all about how much good we can accomplish in our lifetime if we only try. Powered only by hope and a simple idea, Wine to Water came to life.