Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
In this special episode we take a look at the quest to provide access to clean water around the world. We talk to Jim and Lara Hicks about their work with clean water projects. We also sit down with Corey Lindley, doTERRA Founding Executive, about why he is passionate about clean water projects and how the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation works to bring clean water to communities that need it.
doTERRA: Clean water is something you might take for granted every day as you go to the tap in your house or open a bottle of cold water. However, for many people around the world, access to clean water seems like a dream. According to the United Nations, three in ten people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. Today, we're going to discuss how the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation® works to spread access to clean water.
Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.
Today we're excited to talk to Jim and Lara Hicks as well as Corey Lindley about why they are passionate about bringing access to clean water to everyone around the world. Jim and Lara, thank you so much for joining us today to talk about this incredibly important issue.
Jim Hicks: You're welcome. Thank you for having us. It's a privilege to be here.
Lara Hicks: Happy to be part of it.
doTERRA: So what is it that brought the issue of clean water to your attention?
Jim: So a lot of people think, “Oh, you must have been like really into water or, like, have some type of biology degree or something that would make you take real interest in water.” But the truth is we were just a young, newlywed couple who really had no idea about the fact that there was a world water crisis.
Even though I had pretty extensive travels and had been to many places around the world that do actually suffer from a lack of clean water, it was always provided for me in abundance. You know, I was there as a guest. I was always being handed bottles of water. It was never really an issue. And so, it was amazing how even the sheltering that I experienced, though I was well traveled, I just wasn't aware. And that's part of the pCoreylem is that a lot of people in life just go through not aware of things, and if you're not aware of it, then it's really hard to have any type of compassion. But when you're made aware of something, then you really develop compassion and perhaps you’re moved to action.
So how it happened for us is our son, who is now about 18 years old, he was wide awake in the middle of the night and just wanted to be held and comforted. And so, I went into his nursery and started walking with him. And it was just this very peaceful serene moment where I just had this overwhelming sense, and it wasn't an audible voice, but it was as crystal clear of words as I ever heard. And it was very simple it was “thirst and take water to the nations.”
And I heard that, and I was like, “Wow. That's pretty fascinating.” You know, I didn't even know really quite what to think of it. And yet, it felt like there was an obvious connection to, like, a need for water. But because I didn't have a frame of reference for it, I really wasn't even sure what it wholly meant.
Researching the Water Crisis
And so, my son went back to sleep. I put him in his crib and went back to my bed. And there I had a journal, and I wrote those words down. And the next morning, I shared it with Lara, so we just started researching, and it didn't take but a few Google searches to discover that this was a global crisis that was affecting billions of people. Roughly 1.8 billion people around the world lacked access to safe, clean water at that time.
And now, thankfully, it's less than that, but still to this day, there are thousands of children—pCoreyably around 3,500 children a day that die, most of them are under the age of five, but they die because of one simple thing: they simply just don't have clean water. And it's not that they don't have water. They don't have clean water. Without water, you die after three days.
But a simple, simple solution of a filter that is effective, that's long term, that's cost effective, sustainable, all of that. It's a basic solution. And by providing those, you can literally—like no joke, like it's not an overstatement—but you're literally saving someone's life. And then on top of that, the economic effects and everything else and how it affects the communities is phenomenal.
Deciding to Act
So, we realized there was a global crisis, and we realized that we could perhaps do something about it. But we also—you know—like I said, we were newlyweds. We had a fledgling photography company that we were running. We had a new baby. We really were in no position to try to be world changers in our minds. And so, we thought, “You know what? We're going to do something about this,” insert dramatic pause, “someday.”
And that someday was basically in our minds when we were 50 because we thought when we were 50, we would have a nest egg build up, our kids would be in college, things would be like really solid in life, and we'd finally be able to give back to the world. And though that sounded good, I know the reality is, now that I'm closer to 50, I'm realizing that, apart from the incredible doTERRA business that we have, that we pCoreyably wouldn't be in any better position to do much to change the world than we were then.
Anyway, we realized at one point, we’re like, “You know, we might not be able to do a lot, but what if we could save even just one life?” Like, if we were a family that was in desperate need of just a basic, simple bio sand filter or something that could save our child's life, we would do literally anything we could to get that solution. And we wouldn't care that there were thousands of others that didn't get it as much as we would care about our one child would get it.
And so, we realized it's not a matter of how many people we can impact. It's just a matter of can we have impact. And what little can we do? Well let's just be sure we do that, and as we're able to do more, let's do that as well.
We started early on and just started going for it. And little by little by little by little, we chipped away at a pretty significant amount of people, almost nearly a million lives now, we've been able to dramatically affect with simple, cost-effective solutions.
Inviting Others to Help
Lara Hicks: And to add to that really quick, I think in those early days, we were just trying to raise a little baby and learn how to be newlyweds and do this business. For us, really the steps—you know—we started sharing the need with friends and family because it wasn't a big thing back then. People weren't talking about clean water in those days. And so, it was a new concept to a lot of us. But the heartstrings that continued to get tugged was just knowing that 90 percent of the deaths were children under the age of five.
Taking Small Steps
And I know Jim mentioned that, but that was really, I think for us, what pushed us forward, knowing these babies—you know, we had this little baby at home. And we're looking at him every day and just realizing as a parent if we could save one baby, if we could save, you know, a couple families’ kids, like what impact could we have? And so, that really—just those little baby steps to kind of get things started. We didn't have a grand plan of tackling the world water crisis. It was really, what if we just did a little bit?
So, you know, we kept kind of with the mindset of putting it on the backburner or putting it up on the shelf, but just really continued to have our heart strings tugged—you know—seeing our baby, knowing that if we could make it impact for, even if it was a couple of families, like we couldn't not do anything. And so just taking those small baby steps in the beginning, not having a grand plan of tackling the world water crisis, just knowing that our action steps could result in saving lives, even if it's just a couple.
It just really kind of got the ball rolling and those small action steps in the beginning, you know, were multiplied, and the vision was shared with others, and it just continued to grow and have that snowball effect. And the amount of lives that’ve been saved to date is just—being able to share the vision and people being able to step in with us and change one life at a time. And it's just been super impactful to see the amount of families that have been saved as a part of that, one step at a time.
Sharing the Vision
Jim: One thing that really helped too was, you know, we didn't do it on our own. We're both artist types. We're photographers, visionaries. And as we shared the vision with other people that had different giftings from us, I had a really good friend who was an engineer, very detail-focused oriented, and he's like, “Hey man, and I want to help you to make this vision a reality.” And I was like, “Great. That's exactly what I need.”
Also Kari and Gary Sammons, they're also, they’re actually our upline. We shared the vision with them, and Gary was an attorney. And so, he came on very early on in the vision and helped to deal with some of the legal staff and the establishment of the organization. We wanted to really come out of the gates looking and appearing like we were more legit than we pCoreyably were.
And as a result, we really gained a lot of momentum pretty quickly because people were like—oh, like we had a guy show up at our doorstep one day, and he was like, “Is this Thirst Relief International?”
And we were like, “Yep, you expected more didn't you?”
He goes, “Yeah, I really did.” He's like, “Your online presence is really amazing, and your impact is significant.” He's like “I expected more.”
I said, “Well, we run a remote operation. Everyone works out of their homes or their workplaces and whatever, and there's no need to have overhead that is unnecessary for what we do.”
Lara: And everybody was doing it as a volunteer. So we didn’t have any added overhead at that point.
doTERRA: Well, that is an incredible story. My follow-up question there is what prompted you both to take action on your own rather than looking to a different organization to support?
Starting Thirst Relief International
Jim: You know, that is something that I'm actually really glad you asked that. I didn’t expect that. And I want to be careful how I answer it because the world is so full of so many people doing so many good things. And—but the reality is when I just started looking kind of behind the curtain, and I started researching the salary levels of some of the executive level of some of the global relief organizations and how much—what percentages were actually going to provide relief, it was honestly very disheartening to me.
And I—the longer we've run this organization, the more I realized how much it takes to actually do something with excellence. And so I don't—like I said—I want to bag them because everybody is doing their best, and if you're going to run a multibillion-dollar global relief organization, you're going to require some serious talent that is going to require higher levels of salary, of course. But for us, we just didn't feel good knowing that like, at best, maybe 50 or 60 percent of our money was going to go to what we intended it. And some of it, it's far worse than that. And, I don't know—you know.
On top of that, there was just a conviction, there was a sense of calling that was greater than—we toyed with that idea. Like, yeah, maybe we just focus on making some money, and we try to give to other organizations that are doing good things.
But we really, we felt like there was a sense that no, we're supposed to do our own organization. We're literally supposed to head this up. And the relationships and the connections that I had around the world with people that were already there that we're doing humanitarian aid relief and missionary work and different things, it was like we have the relationships. We have the connections. We know these people. We trust them. We know that we can do this with a—well we call it now, officially, it's our partnership model. And that's where like we don't employ—we don't have employees technically outside of the United States. We have one full-time employee here but we do these microgrants. And the microgrants go to provide nothing more than the cost of the materials, the fuel for delivery, and the labor to actually have filters made, wells dug, all that kind of stuff.
And so, as a result, our costs are just so much lower than the average organization. And so, our efficacy, which is funny. I didn't even know what that word meant until Dr. Hill talked about it one day. And I was like, “What's he talking about?” Our efficacy is through the roof because of our low-cost operation and yet on the ground, actually doing it. And so how far we stretch a dollar is pretty mind blowing.
Lara: Well, and one of our things too—we were super passionate. We wanted all of the money that we were raising—you know—if we were putting our name behind something, we wanted that to go toward clean water. We didn't ever want to take a salary. We didn't want to say, “Well, 10 percent is going towards clean water,” which is actually what you get with some organizations.
And so, for us, we wanted to be able to raise all of the admin separate. And so, we have donors, ourselves included, that are paying for the admin so that we can say 100 percent of money raised goes to nothing but clean water, and we love that. We love that business model, knowing that when people are giving, they’re giving towards the cause at hand.
Working with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation
doTERRA: Absolutely. So with your journey with your own organization, what gave you the idea to work with the Healing Hands Foundation?
Jim: I mean, I would say it was just kind of a perfect fit. It's interesting because there was a very short window of a few months where we had a successful photography company that we had been running for about 13 years. And we were beginning to build this doTERRA business that was really kind of a hobby and a fun thing that we did simply because we loved helping people.
And we learned about the concept of a pipeline-style business versus carrying buckets, and the idea being that no matter how big your bucket is you still have to carry a bucket every day. And if you build a pipeline, you can actually turn the pressure, you know, turn the faucet on and the pressure is already there. And the concept of that combined with clean water, you know, water pressure, the whole thing, I was like “Oh my gosh. This is like the perfect business for us to really push into to be able to create the financial freedom to be able to continue to run the organization as volunteers and give beyond just that.”
And so, it was honestly at that moment that I heard, “Give up your salary at Thirst Relief.” Because I had about three-month window where I actually started to take a salary because I couldn't keep running our photography business, which was carrying my buckets and then also volunteering at Thirst. And so, we were going to be segueing into becoming a full-time position there perhaps.
But I leaned over, and I said to Lara, “I think we're supposed to give up our salary at Thirst, and we're supposed to pursue doTERRA as an opportunity that will become our income, and we'll be able to continue to give back.”
And anyway, we went, we met with our board of directors. We told them our plan. They said, “You know, this is a great plan we love it. We bless it.” And we started pushing hard from that point forward and not too long later hit Diamond and then onto Blue Diamond and then Presidential.
A Natural Fit
Lara: Well, and I think it was a natural fit as well just our heart to take people clean water and to see them get free of the health implications of dirty water. Similarly, taking people oils and being able to communicate with the power these oils have, it felt like it was kind of a one and the same for us. You know, we're helping people. We're giving them natural options to be able to get healthy, to be able to live their fullest life.
And so for us, we were passionate. It just felt like it was one and the same. And so, as our passion grew to see people get free of health concerns and our business just continued to grow and it became more and more a passion to see people get free with doTERRA.
Like Jim said, when we started hitting those higher ranks in doTERRA, it allowed us to then pour back into the organization and see people around the world get free of the water crisis issues. And so, it really was kind of a really equally paired passion for health for people.
Jim: And I remember early on when Corey Lindley was actually leading up Healing Hands, I had a conversation with him that really helped me to see like, “Wow, this business is so much more than just helping people get essential oils.” But it's a holistic approach. It's water and sanitation. It's hygiene. It's clean, you know, it's agriculture. It's education. It's Co-Impact Sourcing. It's, you know, the holistic approach to the whole person is so—it's nothing short of amazing.
And it's really our heart because we want to have maximum impact and maximum efficacy. And to see that our business could tie in, I guess what I'm trying to say is Healing Hands was just a natural fit. And it was a great thing because I know—you know—Healing Hands did a $20,000 matching grant, where if we could raise twenty—and we had people like Peggy Smith and Mike Larson and Paul and Betsy Holmes and many others that joined in and really helped us raise the money. And we were able to do a significant impact in Uganda and around the world; they contributed on a number of occasions. So it just—it all fits together.
Making the World a Better Place Together
doTERRA: Well and that leads perfectly into my next question, which is how was the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation able to help you take action?
Jim: I'd say that the Healing Hands Foundation was vital in helping us to go further than we had been able to go on our own. When we were professional photographers, we had a national, even semi-international, following in that realm. We were really blessed with a great business. And a lot of the financial support that the organization received was through the photo industry. And so, when we would go to like the large photo conventions, we would often be asked to speak about Thirst Relief. We would have fundraising events and things like that.
And as we segued out of that and our popularity really began to wane in that circle, doTERRA was really our new circle. But you know, nobody knew who we were or what we were doing. And I would say that Healing Hands really helped bring an awareness of what we were doing and why our organization was—you know, it's kind of like a stamp of approval, honestly, to have the owners of doTERRA straight up say, “Hey, we approve of this organization, and we want to see them supported. And we're going to match that, what they can raise, we're going to match it with our Healing Hands donation.” I think even more than just that money that was raised, it brought an awareness so that others are able to continue to hopefully support and be a part of.
doTERRA: So my final question for both of you, now that you have been in this project for a while, you've really been able to see all these different successes around the world. Can you give us some specific examples of what you have been able to see happen because of the service you're able to give?
Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Jim: Yeah. Man, that's a hard question because I have so many things that come to my mind quickly. I mean, we have so many different stories that are so impactful. I would say that the single greatest thing that I've been able to personally witness is I have seen countless people who have given a hand up out of a cyclical poverty situation. And what that does is that allows them to actually begin to build a life.
Imagine trying to build your doTERRA business, but you're battling dysentery and two of your children just died because they don't have clean water. Imagine trying to build any type of business if you were dealing with that type of situation. People find themselves just stuck in a very hopeless, destitute situation where they are so vulnerable. They're desperate, you know? They're desperate. They're just looking. There is very little hope for a solution when you're feeling dehydrated, so you drink more water, and the very water you're drinking is making you sicker. And that leaves people in a position of vulnerability. And when you're vulnerable, there's enough ill-willed people in the world that are looking to take advantage of that that it leaves people in a very bad situation.
And one of the things that I have seen repeatedly is that people are able to help raise themselves up out of that situation. You know, humans are very resilient. They want to succeed. They want to have success they want to have health. They want to have happiness. They want their families to be well, and they're creative. They're resilient. They're hardworking. They're willing to do it takes.
But you have to have health. If you don't have a foundation of health to build upon, then there's really an inability to do much more. And so, by helping people with a hand up through health, through clean water—as a matter of fact, 80 percent of the issues that medical missionaries and medical doctors that are doing humanitarian aid really—80 percent of the issues that they deal with on a daily basis are simply because of a lack of clean water. So when you take a clean water solution to a village or a tribe or any group of people that are in need, you're actually giving them a hand up that allows them to begin to build their life, to build their businesses.
And anyways, as a result of that, what we've seen that's so amazing is that often when people are in a place of destitution and in a place of vulnerability or desperation, predatory lenders will actually come in, and they'll offer loans that they know that these people will never be able to pay back. And so, in three months, four month, five months, when they come back to collect on the loan, and they can't pay it, they say, “Well, you know what? We'll take your daughter to the city where she'll work for this rich family, and she can pay off your loan.”
And the families have no idea, but often those children are then taken and they're being trafficked into human trafficking, sex slave trade, all the other horrific atrocities that are in this world. But when we know that we're actually going to the base level, and we're giving people that ability to build a life and help reduce that vulnerability, we're also helping to reduce their susceptibility to being preyed upon by people that would do such horrible things.
Lara: I think just being able to see humanity helped and supported in a way that goes far beyond just the health crisis, you know, we have amazing testimonies of tribes in India. And when taking clean water and meeting their physical needs, it actually opens them up to far more relationships and just knowing that so much greater good comes from even just the relationships on the ground with these people and just seeing their physical needs met because of love for humanity, but then seeing how much greater, you know, that goes in so many other ways.
And so for us, just knowing that there's such a huge impact on humanity in general when you meet somebody’s physical need, it's been really impactful just to see the amount of lives that have been changed and saved.
Jim: And you know, just to piggyback on what she said, Thirst Relief is a humanitarian aid organization only. That's our IRS status. But we are motivated by our love for people. But when you meet someone's basic physical needs, it is amazing how the heart begins to soften.
And it doesn't take long for someone to go, “Man, you really cared about me. And there's no—you didn't want anything in return. You weren't coming here to get; you were coming to give. Why is that?” And it just opens people up, and you know, what does the world need more than love for each other?
And so, we feel really, really blessed just to participate in that. And it all comes back to the fact that it's wonderful when we get a chance to know that people are one step closer to knowing that their lives actually matter.
doTERRA: Thank you both so much for sharing those incredible stories. And thank you for joining us today to teach us a little bit more about why clean water is such a crucial right that every human deserves to have. We really appreciate you coming on here.
Jim: Thank you so much for the privilege of having us.
Lara: Yeah, thanks for having us.
Jim: It was great.
doTERRA: We're also thrilled to have Corey Lindley, one of doTERRA’s founding executives, here with us today to discuss why the mission to provide clean water around the world is a cause that he is passionate about and how the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation is playing a part in that mission. Corey, thank you so much for being with us today. First off, I want to ask you why was it important for you to support the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation?
Corey Lindley: Well, I think really the genesis for me and when I think of it for my background, when I came, I had 20-plus years experience, 25 years experience, working. And it wasn't about just the job. It wasn't about making money. It wasn't about trying to just build a business. It was about how can we really make the world a better place?
I think, you know, it's kind of a difference, and I don't want to characterize different groups of people by age, but it seems to me that the longer you live, the more experience you get, kind of your view of the world begins to change a little bit, and because of your life's experiences. I mean, I had spent 20 years traveling the world, working aggressively on a lot of different issues, and being in a lot of countries. And when you're out there, you're like, “How can we make a difference?” Right?
A Commitment to Making the World a Better Place
And so, really from the start when doTERRA was formed, the idea was we're really not a company that's about just sourcing oils and selling oils. We're about how can we make a difference in the world, and sourcing oils is a great way to do that. And so, from the very start, it's been about how can we make a difference? How can we do good in the world?
And I think there's something innate within everyone to want to leave the world a little bit of a better place than it was when they started. And, you know, that gets covered up in some people. It's more visible in others. But the idea is what can we do in this process of building doTERRA to really give back and to help people around the world and make the world a better place?
It kind of plays into a little bit of what I love about doTERRA now, right? Because I grew up—great parents, great family—but on a small farm in northern Utah. And I'd spend all summer working out on the farm. I would haul hay starting early in the morning, that would run through the first, second, third crop of hay. And then you'd water, have to water, get up early and move pipe, haul straw, thin beets. I mean, I've done a lot of things with my hands on a farm. It’s what I grew up with. And so, it kind of makes me feel the plight of those who are laboring for their daily existence.
Now we—I don't want to characterize it—the farm, for us, was my father was a school teacher and then he farmed on the side. But I learned to work, and I learned to appreciate work. And I learned the value of people who contribute to society in that way. And it's really given me appreciation through doTERRA as we've got into going into countries and seeing people work and just appreciating what they do and how can we help them. Right? That becomes important.
doTERRA: It's amazing that you were able to carry that desire to do good from the very beginning and keep it going throughout all these years with the Healing Hands Foundation. So why is it that clean water specifically is a cause that is important to you?
Corey: When you grow up on a farm, water is central to everything. You water the crops, and you're thirsty. Water becomes central to everything. So water is important.
doTERRA: So what was it that helped you become aware that this was an issue around the world?
Corey: I have to be honest and say I didn't connect it until you go out and see how they live in some of these developing worlds, particularly where we're sourcing. And when you see people walking two hours to get water and then walking back and also you're thinking, “Wait, how often are they doing this? Why are they doing this?” Right? And “Is there a way that we can get them fresh water?” And “What does that mean?”
In Haiti, they had to close down the school early so the kids could be engaged and go and get water. By putting a well there, now the school can stay open longer. The kids can get the education that they're intended to get because they don't have to walk two hours every day to get water for the family. So water becomes central and being able to supply water. And I don't think I really appreciated it until I was out in those growing areas.
doTERRA: So do you have a specific experience that you could share with us about a community that has been helped through the Healing Hands Foundation and how having access to clean water has affected them?
Corey: Sure. I mean, quickly one that is pCoreyably the most well-known is our project in Haiti where we built this well. And you could see just—the community impact, it was huge. But that was early on. It was four or five years ago.
But I want to talk about a different one. I was in Kenya and in this southern region of Kenya, the Lunga Lunga area, right on the coast in southern Kenya, we have a growing operation we've been dealing with. And we deal with several thousand farmers, and we've engaged a water expert.
Clean Water in Kenya
And because one of the issues on the coastal area is that the water is—it's seawater, which it’s not—brackish, I mean, it's salty. And so, it's not that helpful. So we said, “Well, let's dig a well on our property.” So I was there one year. We dug this well. We kind of christen the well, and you know, had this community coming out, and it was all great. So we dug them a well. And I thought, “This is great. We're providing them water—” because they were having to walk an hour or two to get water several times a week. And this now provided them that opportunity.”
Well, I went back the next year, and we were—I was talking to some of our growers there. And they're harvesting, and we're visiting with them. They were talking about their week and what they were doing. And a lady said, “Well, once a week I still have to walk two hours away to get fresh water.”
And I said “Oh, but we dug a well for you.”
And she said, “Yeah, that's been very helpful. We use that for washing and cleaning, but it's still—it's a little bit too brackish.” Even though we dug the well thinking we had done what we needed to do, it was still a little bit not great for drinking, right? And she knew that. And so she was still going.
So I'd go with our water expert down there in that area, and I said “Wait, this didn't work like we thought. Okay? So what do we need to do?”
And he said, “Oh, it's tough. This area, you can't get deep enough. It still becomes a little bit brackish.”
I said, “Well, there has to be a solution. Okay? So what's the solution? Just tell me the solution.”
He says, “Well, the only solution is too expensive.” He said, “You’d have to put a reverse osmosis machine that takes the salt out of the water. You have to put that at the well.”
And I'm like, “So why don't we do that?”
He said, “Well it's about $40,000, and you know, that's just a lot in this part of the world.”
And I said, “Yeah, but we’re talking about drinking water. Okay?” So I said, “Get that installed now, right now. So that we can support this community.”
And within a couple of months, they sent me back pictures of this reverse osmosis machine that's working off of solar power that provides fresh water to all of these people who are supporting our growing in southern Kenya.
And it just—yeah, I don't know if we know how central water is. It’s the most basic necessity of life that we have to have water. And you have to have fresh water and clean water. And being able to provide that has really been a core I've been so grateful for as we've done some projects. And now we have so many leaders and Wellness Advocates around the world and different parts of the world who are providing their own that we can contribute to, that we're kind of doubling and tripling our efforts with everyone to provide fresh water and really making a difference.
doTERRA: Corey, I want to thank you again for being here with us today. I have one more question for you before we end. What is your hope for the future as the Healing Hands Foundation continues to work to provide clean water around the world?
Looking to the Future
Corey: Yeah, as we look to the future, we've done some amazing things in certain parts of the world, but the world's a big place. And I think our immediate need and our focus is what can we do more. We had a meeting on this last week and other meetings with our board in the next few weeks where we want to make sure that every area of the world where we're sourcing from is taken care of with regards to water, basic educational needs, basic things that we know provide value and provide long-lasting impact.
Changing the World One Oil at a Time
So it's not easy, with 150 oils all over the world, right? But we've made great progress in that. And our hope is to develop that in all those communities and then we begin to branch out from there and we find other communities nearby and we begin to change the world really just with one oil at a time.
And so, this never stops. It never stops until everybody has clean water, right? And I'm not naive enough to say we're the only company that's going to have a solution with this or the only group. But we’re going to do our part, and we're going to do more than most. And we're going to do more than almost anyone in terms of reaching out into those communities and really making a difference.
Making an Impact
And we do it in a way that we know we're making an impact. You know there's a bunch of NGOs and wonderful charitable organizations in the world that do great work. So I would never want to speak negatively of the work they do. Or—you know—and some governments provide support, right? But when that happens, you don't know how long it's going to take. You don't really know where it's going to go, right?
I was in Guatemala in February, and we went past a school and talked to some people at a school right in a growing area of cardamom—different area of Guatemala than I was at before. But another area we get cardamom from. And the school—we talked to them and the school had been shut down because they didn't have teachers. They couldn't afford to pay the teachers so the kids, the school is there, but they couldn't run classes because of the teachers. So I was with some leaders from our Brazil market, and I start talking to them, “Well, how much does this cost?” Right?
And they said “Well, for a couple thousand dollars we can have two teachers here year-round.”
I’m like “Okay, we can do this, right?” So I gathered up our leaders, and I said “Let's all just donate.” We all collectively put some money together. I have some connections at Healing Hands.
We came back and said, “Will you match this?” They matched it, and we sent them—you know—$5,000. And now, they have teachers for a couple of years at the school, right? But it's because we can go direct, right? When there's disasters in the world, it's touching to me—there is a big hurricane that blows through Haiti. We reach out directly to our partners there and say, “What do you need?” And we immediately send them resources, and construction begins within a week.
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