Wine to Water: A Bartender's Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World

Wine to Water: A Bartender's Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World

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by Doc Hendley

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The captivating story of an ordinary bartender who's changing the world through clean water.

Doc Hendley never set out to be a hero. In 2004, Hendley-a small- town bartender- launched a series of wine-tasting events to raise funds for clean-water projects and to bring awareness to the world's freshwater crisis. He planned to donate the proceeds through

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The captivating story of an ordinary bartender who's changing the world through clean water.

Doc Hendley never set out to be a hero. In 2004, Hendley-a small- town bartender- launched a series of wine-tasting events to raise funds for clean-water projects and to bring awareness to the world's freshwater crisis. He planned to donate the proceeds through traditional channels, but instead found himself traveling to one of the world's most dangerous hot spots: Darfur, Sudan.

There, Doc witnessed a government-sponsored genocide where the number-one weapon wasn't bullets-it was water. The Janjaweed terrorists had figured out that shooting up a bladder containing 10,000 liters of water, or dumping rotting corpses into a primary water source is remarkably efficient for the purposes of mass extermination. With limited funds, Doc realized that he couldn't build new wells costing $10,000 a pop, but he could hire local workers to restore a damaged well for a mere $50 each. He'd found his mission. Today, Doc and Wine to Water continue to help stricken peoples repair and maintain water- containment systems in places like Darfur, Cambodia, Uganda, and Haiti.

Doc is a regular, rough-and-tumble guy who loves booze, music, and his Harley- but he also wanted to help. Wine to Water is a gripping story about braving tribal warfare and natural disasters and encountering fascinating characters in far-flung regions of the world. It is also an authoritative account of a global crisis and an inspirational tale that proves how ordinary people can improve the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Hendley learned about the world water crisis and that “unclean water kills a child every twenty seconds” he was just a bartender in a small town in North Carolina who spent most of his time drinking and playing music in bars or riding his Harley. In an effort to raise money for clean-water projects, he did what he knew best and threw fund-raising parties, which led to his founding the nonprofit Wine to Water. Hendley, who was named a CNN Hero in 2010, made sure his organization’s funds directly benefited those in need, and he became an aid worker in Darfur, Sudan. Whether he is describing being shot at by the janjaweed militia; the dedication of his who co-workers who pray five times a day; how to dig a grave in the desert; or children’s excitement when a well starts pumping out water, he illuminates the facts of the crises in a very human way. Hendley’s humanitarian work in Africa (and Haiti, where he headed after the 2010 earthquake) is inspiring, especially considering how many lives he has influenced despite how little he knew about water problems before he started. At the core, however, is the story of Hendley himself: a coming-of-age tale about a young man who as a teen rebelled against his “preacher man” dad to become “the life of the party” only to figure out that he “didn’t have to be a perfect do-gooder to actually do some good in this world.” (Jan.)
Library Journal
In 2004, small-town bartender Hendley held several wine tastings to raise funds for clean-water projects—and ended up bringing the proceeds directly to Darfur, where he saw how Janjaweed terrorists effected genocide by shooting up or contaminating water sources. Without enough money to build new wells, he launched a program to help people in places like Darfur, Cambodia, and Haiti repair and maintain their water-containment systems. It's always good to hear about one individual making a difference, and the example of Darfur—not to mention the quiet urgency of the freshwater crisis, still underaddressed—makes this an especially affecting choice. Lots of in-house excitement, too.
Kirkus Reviews
The founder of the nonprofit organization Wine to Water gives a highly personal account of how he came to that mission and of the work that it is doing today. The organization, which raises awareness of the need for clean water around the world and helps to provide that water to people in need, began as an idea in the head of a young man with a talent for connecting with people and a growing awareness of the world's water problems. A biker, bartender and amateur musician with no apparent goal in life, Hendley organized a wine tasting as a fundraiser for clean-water projects and shortly thereafter found himself in contact with Samaritan's Purse, an international charitable organization. That meeting led to a job in Darfur, where he built up a team that delivered water and repaired wells in villages devastated by the genocidal attacks. The author's down-to-earth accounts of his time there in 2004 and 2005 are interspersed with on-the-spot e-mail updates to friends, family and supervisors. His frustrations and the psychological impact of his observations and harrowing experiences are clear. On his return to the United States, Hendley married and took a mundane office job but never stopped trying to get Wine to Water up and running. With a colleague from his Darfur year, he succeeded, and through their grassroots network they began to spread their wings, undertaking water projects around the world. Although he describes several projects in India and Africa, he gives greatest attention to his work in post-earthquake Haiti, where he put to good use his knowledge of how to cut through red tape and get things done. Hendley's well-told story—at times a bit aw-shucks, down-homey in tone—demonstrates how one person can impact the lives of many. Though not written specifically for teenage boys, it would make a great gift for a too-cool-for-school kid.

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Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Doc Hendley is the founder and president of Wine to Water, a nonprofit organization focused on providing clean water to people in need around the world. When he isn't traveling to underdeveloped nations or raising awareness for the world's water crisis, Hendley spends his time in Boone, North Carolina, with his wife and two children.

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Wine to Water: A Bartenders Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. I read it in one day straight through. Doc speaks the heart wrenching truth of the real africa that is not spoken about on the news. Books like this give me hope for the world, even through all the pain and suffering people are still able to help and be helped. I was so humbled page after page hearing all of these stories. It is nice to hear that a normal person can make such a change in the world. No wonder he is a CNN hero. <3
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
Wine to Water by Doc Hend­ley is a non-fiction mem­oir of the author start­ing the Wine to Water non-profit. The char­ity brings clean water to many parts of the world. A small town bar­tender named Doc Hend­ley launched a wine tast­ing events to help bring aware­ness to clean water projects around the world. Instead of donat­ing the money, Doc found him­self being an anchor pres­ence and start­ing his own char­ity – Wine to Water. Fac­ing Jan­jaweed ter­ror­ists, mass mur­der, admin­is­tra­tive red tape and other chal­lenges, Doc man­aged to stretch the charity’s money to bring clean water to many deserv­ing peo­ple around the world. Wine to Water by Doc Hend­ley, a CNN hero, is an inspir­ing book told in the prose of the liked and endear­ing author. While never own­ing a motor­cy­cle I have hung out in one or two biker’s bars, met peo­ple much like Doc described in his book and always felt wel­comed – even with the tough­est crowd. The high­light of the book for me was Doc’s inge­nu­ity get­ting water and equip­ment to remote places around the world. Sur­viv­ing some dan­ger­ous, almost deadly events, los­ing friends and fac­ing hur­dles from bureau­crats, local and inter­na­tional will break most peo­ple – but Doc kept on. Wit­ness­ing gov­ern­ment spon­sored geno­cide would have most peo­ple run­ning for the hills – but not Doc. The story was well paced, easy to read and inter­est­ing. Doc doesn’t mince words about his expe­ri­ence, the peo­ple he worked with and met, or the orga­ni­za­tions he worked with or for. Being the son of a preacher man the book does evoke some reli­gious aspects – not in a preachy way but some, I felt, in the wrong spots. The book is told in the charm­ing voice of Doc, if there was a ghost­writer involved, it cer­tainly didn’t seem like it to me. The book might have needed a pro­fes­sional touch in some places, but then it might have lost its charm and I think the author/editor/publisher deci­sion to live it in Doc’s voice was a good one.
EnigmaDame More than 1 year ago
Amazing story of a normal person who changed his world. Proof that you don't have to be perfect to make a change. Follows Doc's idea of Wine to Water from pre-conception, through inception, to the future. I wish I were rich enough to buy everyone a copy. I really think this would be a great book for all schools have as part of their curriculum. Teaches amazing life lessons, opens the readers eyes to some of the problems and compassion you have to have in the real world, and teaches the importance of following what your heart tells you.