A rural Virginia family displaced from their home after their water well failed are receiving the gift of clean water today, marking the first project of Hometown H2O, a domestic water program aimed at bringing education and access to clean and sustainable water to people and communities in need across the United States.
Hometown H2O is an extension of The Chris Long Foundation‘s Waterboys initiative and the result of a partnership announced in December 2019 with Xylem Inc., a leading global water technology company dedicated to solving the world’s most challenging water issues.
“This family’s situation is not an isolated instance of the water challenges facing many lower-income rural communities in the United States,” said Chris Long, two-time Super Bowl champion and founder and chairman of the Chris Long Foundation. “Addressing domestic water needs is an important next step in our work at Waterboys, which is why we created Hometown H2O. Having our first project in my home state of Virginia is special to me, but it is just the beginning of our U.S. work with Xylem to impact lives through the gift of water.”
The family of six in Suffolk, Virginia, bought the property in 2018 and began experiencing water issues about six months ago when the shallow well pump on the property began pumping sand and water into the house. The property needed a new, deeper well, but it would cost thousands of dollars the family did not have.
Without running water, Social Services would not allow the family to live in the house, so they stayed at a hotel for several months until aid ran out, eventually moving in with family out of state. The family applied for assistance through the nonprofit Water Well Trust, and Hometown H2O, Xylem and its partners quickly mobilized.
Xylem coordinated the donation of the water well equipment from among its network of partners,
Noland Supply of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, a WinSupply company, and Creason & Sons Well Service Inc. of Zuni, Virginia. The companies began the prep work at the site about a week ago for the well installation.
In addition to the new well, Xylem and its team of volunteers, activated through Watermark, Xylem’s acclaimed corporate social responsibility program, are completing a number of interior and exterior home improvement projects on the property, including installing a shower in the bathroom and fixing a warped front porch to help improve the family’s overall quality of life.
“Having clean water restored to their home will allow this family to reunite and live safely — it is truly lifechanging,” said Joe Vesey, Xylem senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “We have the opportunity of a lifetime to solve our growing domestic water challenges by bringing individuals and organizations together and leveraging their expertise and resources.”
Xylem and Waterboys, along with nonprofit partner Water Well Trust, seek to raise awareness about domestic water issues, including that 1.5 million people in the U.S. lack access to clean, safe drinking water at home. Working in coordination with Watermark and the company’s Goulds Water Technology brand, this partnership will deliver a series of water well projects to provide rural communities with reliable, safe water access, which can lead to better overall health and improved quality of life.
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology company committed to developing innovative technology solutions to the world’s water challenges. The Company’s products and services move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment in public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services settings. Xylem also provides a leading portfolio of smart metering, network technologies and advanced infrastructure analytics solutions for water, electric and gas utilities. The Company’s approximately 17,000 employees bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on identifying comprehensive, sustainable solutions. Headquartered in Rye Brook, New York, with 2018 revenue of $5.2 billion, Xylem does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands.
The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all – that which occurs in nature. For more information, please visit us at www.xylem.com.
About Xylem Watermark
Xylem Watermark is Xylem’s corporate citizenship and social investment program. Xylem Watermark’s mission is to provide and protect safe water resources for communities and to educate people about water issues. By working with best-in-class non-profit partners and leveraging the expertise, time and passion of Xylem’s employees and stakeholders, Xylem Watermark is able to address the full spectrum of global water challenges. For over 10 years, Xylem Watermark has been generating social impact by delivering clean water to communities in need, responding to water-related disasters with humanitarian assistance, and empowering communities through education about water, sanitation and hygiene and the value of water.
Founded in 2015 by two-time Super Bowl Champion Chris Long, Waterboys unites professional NFL and NBA athletes and fans from across the world in support of a single, shared cause: providing clean, accessible drinking water to 1 million people. By working together, players and fans can make a meaningful difference for communities in desperate need by funding sustainable clean water projects. These projects provide life-giving water and all that comes from it – including the opportunities for education, good health, and economic stability. Initially starting with projects in East Africa, Waterboys expanded its work in 2019 to also include U.S water projects. To date, Waterboys has raised over $4.5 million with the help of over 45 professional athletes, providing clean drinking water to more than 365,000 people as a result. To find out more, visit waterboys.org.
About The Chris Long Foundation
The mission of The Chris Long Foundation is to support bright futures for communities and the individuals that make up those communities. We believe borders do not limit caring about our fellow neighbors. We engage in both international and domestic programs focused around clean water, military appreciation, and educational equity. Our programs strive to generate impactful results by creating opportunities and providing resources, financial support and meaningful experiences to those we serve. Visit www.chrislongfoundation.org to find out more about the foundation’s work.
About Water Well Trust
The Water Well Trust (WWT) is a 501(c)3 organization created by the Water Systems Council to provide a clean water supply to American families living without access to a precious resource most of us take for granted.
We serve Americans living primarily in rural, unincorporated areas or minority communities that may be isolated and difficult to reach. We assist low‐income families that cannot afford to pay for public water supplies, and those who live in areas where the extension of public water supplies to serve them doesn’t make economic sense…for them, for the public water supply owners, for federal, state or local funding sources.