February 27th, 2018

A Chance to Help: Pack H2O for Puerto Rico Relief

We love World Water Day. Bringing awareness to the significance of clean water is a passion of ours at Eagle Creek. That’s why we’re stretching this day into a month-long commitment to do some good in Puerto Rico.

For the month of March, we will bring you opportunities to learn, engage, and be a part of getting Mother Nature’s finest gift, water, to the people of Puerto Rico.

Current events and past water efforts have lead us here. Welcome to Eagle Creek’s World Water Month, March 2018.  

What’s Happening

Ok, there are a lot of people, places, and problems that need both awareness and aid (and we wish we could do it all!) but this month’s focus will be on coming along side those in Puerto Rico- people who are still suffering the consequences of Hurricane Maria.

This 50-mile-wide hurricane made a devastating hit just 25 miles away from the capital city of San Juan. More than 4 months since the disaster, 20% of Puerto Rico’s population still lacks running water and a third still has no electricity according to FEMA . (Keep in mind: There are approximately 3.4 million people in Puerto Rico.)

Today, businesses remain closed without electricity and clean water, leaving thousands unemployed and impoverished. This risky combination creates potential for cholera and diarrheal diseases through contaminated wells and surface water. Bottled water is currently a MUST - and very troublesome for those without access.

What are we going to do about it?

Join us. Together, let’s donate packH2O water packs.

What are these ‘water packs’ you may ask? They are lightweight, collapsible bags which contain liners that can be sanitized in sunlight. Just one of these convenient bags can serve the water needs for a household of 5. Incredible!

packH2O has an inspiring track record of over 210,000 backpack donations in over 35 countries. They allow people like you and me to be part of the solution, and we’re excited to contribute to their efforts. 

With the help of our customers, packH2O, and Partners for Care (a compassionate nonprofit whom have distributed our donations in the past, and will continue to do so in Puerto Rico) we can do some good for the people of Puerto Rico. A little goes a long way!

We’ve done it before, and we will do it again!

Without a doubt, your participation in past campaigns has enabled us to do good in water-distressed areas around the world.

In 2016, we were able to donate 1,023 packH2O water backpacks to the Samburu and Turkana tribes of Kenya. Each pack in this remote arid land helps 10 people, almost 8,000 men, women, and children were positively impacted from the donations our customers made. In addition, we purchased two heavy-duty sewing machines, bringing pack manufacturing into the country.

The reality of water scarcity in communities is that people must walk far distances to collect water, and not only that, the containers they are forced to use are unsanitary. This, sadly, results in waterborne diseases among the families. After talking to a tribe member, Violet, who walks several hours each day to fetch water for her family, she expressed her gratitude.

“The water would spill out of the jerry can as I walked, wasting so much of the water. My clothes would get drenched, leaving me vulnerable to pneumonia. Since receiving a water pack, I no longer use the jerry can. The pack is much easier to carry and water doesn’t spill out”, says Violet.

The following year, in 2017, we were able to focus our efforts on children. A grand total of 1,499 water backpacks were supplied to schools in Kenya, providing clean water for an amazing 44,971 children who faced similar issues of water contamination leading to illness and disease. (Well done, you!)

As a result, they have reported that less children are being sent to the infirmary with waterborne illnesses. One teacher from Tumutumu School for the Deaf says “the children now drink more water, which keeps them hydrated and alert all day.”

While our consumer campaign focused our efforts in Kenya, Eagle Creek wanted to do good in Puebla, Mexico, where the packs were also needed. In Puebla, much of their water was bacteria-infested, making it unsafe to drink. In effect, children weren’t able to drink water, but instead, Cool-Aid. With the help of Operation Blessing International, Eagle Creek was able to purchase packs to serve this community, offering safe drinking water so that children and families could safely store and drink water.

Moving Forward

We’re doing it! You guys seem to love this campaign and so do we, so let’s keep pushing forward. In fact, let’s surpass numbers of the past, and help even more people in need.

Here’s how you can play a part: Purchase any duffelbackpack, or luggage on eaglecreek.com, and Eagle Creek will buy and donate a packH2O water pack on your behalf. More specifically, your purchase signals to us your concern. That concern activates us to purchase packH2O water packs for the people of Puerto Rico to collect and transport water back to their homes for storage.

There’s plenty more to be done in the process of recovery for Puerto Rico, but these water packs will make an immediate impact, just as they did for those in Kenya and Mexico. Thank you.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

Volunteering with WILDCOAST: How I Helped the Sea Turtles

Employee Volunteer Travel: Help Them Help Themselves

Help Kenyans Access Clean Water 

by Eagle Creek

Eagle Creek is an invitation to discover the wonders of humanity and our planet. From city parks to exotic destinations, we equip you with the durable and versatile gear to take you beyond your fears and outside your comfort zone. We believe the experience of the unknown inspires a deeper understanding of each other, a curiosity for the unfamiliar, and fresh perspectives on life. We know the further we travel, the closer we become to each other and to the planet we share.