At a conference I attended in 2018, I met Cat Hoke, who creates prison entrepreneurship programs so inmates have a path to success upon their release. Cat spoke about how everyone hustles, but finding your ‘generous hustle’ is what can really spark change.
At that same conference, I also met Scott Harrison, who gave an hour-long presentation that blew my mind. Scott has an amazing story. After I saw him speak, I excitedly presented an idea to our Leadership Team, who looked at me like I was nuts. Then they watched Scott’s presentation. Then they read his book, Thirst. Then they understood.
For a long time now, I’ve wanted to do more, to create what we now call a Signature Charity Partnership. It was hard to figure out what charity to support, mostly because there are so many people out there doing ‘good!’ Our signature charity needed to fit with our Core Values; support an issue relevant to our organization; be issue-focused and impact-oriented, driven to attacking the issue at its source, not just putting a band-aid on it. It also needed to be something that everyone could get behind.
So, back to Scott Harrison. Scott started an organization called charity: water. Their mission is to provide clean, safe drinking water to individuals in developing nations. Believe it or not, there are 663 million people around the world who do not have access to drinkable water. Waterborne diseases kill more people each year than all forms of violence, including war and at any time, half of the world’s hospital beds are filled with patients suffering from diseases caused by drinking dirty and parasite-filled water. I know we can all agree that every person on the planet deserves drinkable water that won’t make them sick.
Early in 2019, I was excited to announce to our spa teams in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Liberty Township that we have chosen charity: water to be our Signature Charity Partner. We’re doing a number of things to get to our pledge of $1 million by 2029. We’re donating 1% of our sales and hosting fundraising events (among other things), but what I truly love is that our spa teams are getting behind our fundraising goal—it’s becoming a full team effort. So far, we’ve had staff members pledge their birthdays, donate PTO days, ask to work extra hours and give their commission and tips to charity: water, and contribute from their paychecks. We’re encouraging them to come up with creative ways to share the message of charity: water and raise funds. Nothing is too crazy!
If you look up ‘spa’ in the dictionary, here’s what you find: ‘A place where people can improve their appearance or health by eating well and by drinking or bathing in water with natural substances in it.’ The whole thing really hit home for me when I read about Helen. After charity: water brought clean water to Helen’s village in Uganda she said ‘I am happy now. I have time to eat. My children can go to school, I can even work in my garden, take a shower and then come back for more water if I want! I am bathing so well. I AM BEAUTIFUL.’
Water changes everything.
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