The University of Tennessee is now one of the few college chapters to be home to the nonprofit club, Wine to Water, a nonprofit organization focused on providing clean water to people in third world countries.
The organization, which was founded by Doc Hendley in 2007, has a goal of finding clean water for those who lack it. What started as one man's dream has grown into a movement that has provided clean water and sanitation in countries like Sudan, India, Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia and Haiti. At UT, the goal starts on a much smaller scale, which is getting students to believe in the cause and to act for the future.
After hearing Hendley speak at the Clifton Jones Leadership Conference last spring, UT senior Miranda Jones was so inspired that she decided to establish a UT chapter of Wine to Water. This is the club's first semester as an official club.
Right now you may not feel the impact of clean water, but I guarantee you before your life is over you will feel the impact. Miranda Jones, a founder of the UT chapter of Wine to Water
“Our two goals are to raise awareness on the charity and the cause but the other reason for the club is for students to have an opportunity to build their resumes and still contribute to bettering the world,” Jones said. “(The cause) doesn’t feel that direct now, but that won’t be the case 20 years into the future. Right now you may not feel the impact of clean water, but I guarantee you before your life is over you will feel the impact.”
Josh Elliot, the organization’s college coordinator, said that the organization’s birth was in colleges.
“Wine to Water's origin is closely connected to the formative years of college. Its a time when students are given the opportunity to actively figure out and pursue their dreams and passions,” Elliot said. “Young people, specifically those in college and university, will inherit the problems of today and be challenged to fix them. We want to form a community of young people who are aware of the world's largest humanitarian crisis and challenge them to join us in the fight to bring clean water to those in need."
On Friday, the club hosted 'Why Blue Day' to raise awareness for the club and their cause. Global water shortages are a serious problem that is only growing more serious, Jones said, but that many people are not aware of the issues surrounding water. The club created 'Why Blue Day' as a way to inform and involve the student body in this cause.
Students helped by wearing blue on Friday and spreading the word to friends. Students are also encouraged to stop by the Wine to Water table that will be set up in The Commons of Hodges Library and pick up a blue piece of duct tape to wear on their sleeves as well as grab some flyers that contain information on the cause and how students can help.
The club's second event will take place on Nov. 27 at the International House Great Room and is a charity fundraiser, which will include food, music and another chance to donate to the charity.
For more information about Wine to Water at UT and how to get involved, contact Miranda Jones at email@example.com. For information on the entire organization, contact Josh Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org.