Doc Hendley ’04 has been named a CNN Hero for tapping into his bartending experience “to save thousands of lives on the other side of the world.” He’s founder and executive director of Wine to Water, an international faith-based organization in Boone that installs running water and sanitation systems in the neediest parts of the world.
The 30-year-old first learned about the world’s water crisis when he took a break from college, and his job as a bar-keep, to travel the world; he hoped it would ground his education and provide some direction. It did.
“I began seeing the figures [of] people that don’t have access to clean water — and it absolutely floored me,” he recalls.
Waterborne diseases cause 1.8 million deaths every year, according to 2004 data from the World Health Organization.
Wine to Water has installed water-sanitation systems in the Sudan and in India, and has set up 40 wells in Cambodia and five in Ethiopia. It’s also building two training centers in northern Uganda to teach locals how to access clean water without having to rely on foreign aid.
“The whole goal is to leave one day and let the locals take over the work themselves,” Hendley told NC State magazine.