When Tony, Michelle, and I formed Do-Gooder, we decided our first campaign would be to help the people of the Ecuadorian Amazon who have suffered tremendous ecological and health defects caused by toxic dumping from oil companies. If you have been following the story in the news, you know it’s a tremendous issue with legal, financial, and political battles wrapping into a knotted mess. But cut away the mess and at the center you still have the people affected by the terrible pollution. Their decline in health and livelihood is inarguable since the toxic dumping began in the 60′s.
To understand the situation from the Ecuadorians’ point of view, Tony went to the Ecuadorian rainforest to visit with the people and record his trip of the damage and the locals’ stories of survival. We then soft-launched our first Do-Gooder t-shirt to get a feel for creating a business that donates 20% of its profits to charity. It was important to us that we could show our customers the progress of how their purchases helped the Ecuadorian community.
Recently, we discovered Groundwork Opportunities (GO). Not only are they located in the San Francisco Bay Area (as is Do-Gooder), but their support of the ClearWater program make them the perfect beneficiary. ClearWater builds rainwater catchment systems for Ecuadorians that, when filled, can supply 50 years of potable water to a single family. The cost? $1300 per unit.
50 years of clean drinking water for a family = $1300. It’s a staggering equation that made me really reassess pretty much everything I have spent my money on: from buying the TV I rarely watch to the occasional bottle of really good bourbon. In five years, the TV will be obsolete or broken; the bourbon, well, I heard it starts to go bad once you open it, right? However, after my TV dies, people in Ecuador will still be drinking clean drinking water for another 45 years.
So, it was an easy decision to partner with GO as the ClearWater program would allow us to benchmark how much good we were doing by how many catchment systems we funded. After a single meeting with GO Co-Founder Jenny O’Connor, we could see that she reflected the same passion to help people that we saw in ourselves. A week later we were GO Champions.
Do-Gooder has a tremendous campaign we’re ramping up for with our launch and ClearWater will be a focal point. We plan on doing everything in our power to help GO and ClearWater reach their goals with fun products, great entertainment, and awareness. All our product and entertainment pages will also include a donation option for those who want to simply give to the cause without purchasing a Do-Gooder product. Our goal is to fund as many catchment systems as we can and help ClearWater reach their $250,000 goal.
The Do-Gooder team couldn’t be more excited to work with ClearWater and GO. We look forward to bringing clean drinking water to the Ecuadorian community of the Amazon rainforest and improving their lives one catchment system at a time.
Jon Meyer is one of the founders of Do-Gooder, a for-profit company that uses its philanthropic spirit to entertain people and inspire them to hold corporations accountable and uphold human rights.