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Wine to Water by Doc Hendley

wine to waterHow did a former Harley-riding, hard-drinking bartender become one of CNN’s heroes of the year in 2009?  One night, while he was an unmotivated college student, he woke up with the words “wine to water” in his head.  As a preacher’s son, he knew that Jesus turned water to wine, but what did this backwards phrase mean?  Seeking an answer, he did a Google search and was shocked to discover that many people in the world don’t have convenient access to clean water.  He hosted two fundraisers to help them and then looked for the most helpful way to use the money.

He ended up in Darfur, working for Samaritan’s Purse, risking his life to help the people of that dry region who often died from drinking unclean water.  His journey eventually led to a successful nonprofit, Wine to Water, which now serves in seventeen countries, digging new wells, repairing old ones, and distributing water filters.  Whenever possible, the organization teaches local people to solve their own water problems.

Hendley grew up in Greensboro, graduated from Ragsdale High School in 1997, and earned his college degree at NC State.  He now travels widely on behalf of his nonprofit; he and his family live in Boone.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

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