Grundfos employees Kim McClellan and Tomas Dobrovolskis took part in a Walk for Water in Aurora, Ill., to raise money for a clean water system in Haiti.
In addition to supporting Water Missions International, the experience served as a model for the Grundfos Walk for Water that will kick off in locations nationwide next year.
During the event, McClellan and Dobrovolskis joined others in walking miles to one of the nearby Waubonise lakes, filling buckets with dirty water and carrying them back to their starting point.
McClellan, HR generalist from Grundfos Olathe, said the point of the exercise was to experience the hardships 884 million people with no access to clean water go through every day.
“Although we can never say we have walked a day in their shoes,” McClellan said. “It is painful to think about what they are faced with on a daily basis after experiencing the Walk for Water with Water Missions International.”
For Dobrovolskis, project manager from Grundfos Aurora, the experience of carrying buckets of water for five miles provided a new appreciation for the water he uses.
“Now when I turn on the faucet I can't help but think about the struggles that people are facing around the world to get clean water,” Dobrovolskis said. “The sore shoulders the next day reminded me that carrying a large bucket of water for five miles is no easy task for an adult and especially a child.”
He said Grundfos’ values were a perfect fit with those of Water Missions International, making the partnership a good match.
“With our massive knowledge of the water industry and as a world's leading expert in pump manufacturing it only makes sense that we be part of this and change the lives of many,” Dobrovolskis said.
The participants also had the opportunity to see for themselves what the water system technology they worked to fund looked like. The system can purify more than 10,000 gallons of water, enough for 3,000 to 5,000 people, every day.
McClellan and Dobrovolskis are working with Lauren Jernigan of Water Missions International to spearhead the Grundfos Walk for Water. The goal of the event is to raise funds for safe water solutions that will change lives around the world, as well as to demonstrate the Grundfos solar-powered SQ and CRFlex pumps that are used in community development projects worldwide.
McClellan said the partnership between Water Missions International and Grundfos made a lot of sense.
“We believe in creating value through close relations with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders and working together in a responsible sustainable way to help take an active role in the society around us and abroad,” McClellan said.