ASU Wine To Water hosts documentary screening

Joshua Farmer

The Appalachian State University chapter of Wine To Water will host a screening Wednesday at Belk Library of a CNN Heroes Special Presentation featuring the Wine To Water organization and the story behind the organization’s beginnings.

Wine To Water is a nonprofit organization founded in 2004 by Doc Hendley, then a bartender and student at North Carolina State University, who now lives in Boone. In 2004, Hendley was living in Darfur, Sudan during the height a period of genocide in the area. He provided water to victims in refugee camps.

“When I first started witnessing these women and children and the effort they would go through for a cup of water, and then to see actually the water that they were providing to their kids – when you see that firsthand, you can’t help but be changed,” Hendley told CNN in an interview in December. “When I came home, it’s all I could think about. I dreamed about it.”

Since its inception, the organization has grown to provide clean water and sanitation to more than 250,000 people in 17 countries. Hendley was named a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2009 for his nonprofit work and was featured in their annual special honoring humanitarians.

In 2010, Wine to Water campus coordinator Josh Elliott and other Appalachian students inspired by Hendley’s story joined the organization, making ASU Wine To Water the first collegiate chapter of the nonprofit.

“ASU Wine To Water has been an exceptional campus chapter,” Elliot said. “We hope to continue growing a community of students who are passionate about clean water.”

Both organizers said that the film has brought a lot of positive attention to the club chapter. Last year, through wine tasting events and other fundraisers, ASU Wine To Water raised more than $1,200 for the organization, which was used to build a well in Cambodia.

“It is great to see how much Wine To Water has grown in recent years,” said Katy Cook, chapter president of ASU Wine To Water. “I am excited to see the national attention Wine To Water is receiving, and I hope that more individuals will be inspired by their work and find a way to get involved.”

Club members will be traveling to Colombia this summer as volunteer on a Wine To Water service trip to work on well construction and other projects.

“I hope that students will be inspired by this cause and want to find a way to get involved, whether it’s with planning an awareness event on campus or volunteering abroad,” Cook said.

The screening of the documentary Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Belk Library Room 114, with an information session on the trip to Colombia immediately following.

Story: Lovey Cooper, Senior A&E Reporter