Xylem Volunteers Continue Relief Work in Puerto Rico
Xylem volunteers share stories from the frontlines of hurricane recovery efforts
Watermark Words: “We talk about Watermark and solving water issues at the dinner table”
Jeff Clark, National Manager, Aftermarket and Service Tech Support, Americas Commercial Team for Xylem, based in Charlotte, N.C.
“When I first heard about Xylem’s water relief efforts in Puerto Rico following the hurricane, I decided to volunteer to go. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve in this way. So often you read about these catastrophic events around the world, and while you want to help, there is usually not a way to contribute outside of donating money or necessities. It really is a life-changing experience to be there in person, and to provide something as basic as clean water to people who have gone without for months on end. I certainly gained a greater appreciation for the convenience of having fresh water readily available at any time.
“The best moments of the trip, outside of the camaraderie built with the outstanding team I worked with, are the conversations I had with the children at the ten schools where we installed the clean water towers over the course of five days. One child commented that now they won’t have to carry a bunch of heavy bottles of water around all day long, just to have something to drink while at school. Another notable moment was when a young child in grade school volunteered to translate for me while I was explaining to the younger kids how important it is to wash their hands with soap and water before they took a drink. Every child who came up to the water tower was so appreciative and happy to have us there, and to have access to clean water during the school day. It’s amazing how much we take for granted.
“The relief trip dates ended up conflicting with a planned family vacation. My wife said to me, this is important, we will make it happen! I’ve worked for other companies throughout my career, but Xylem is different in that they really take social responsibility to a whole other level. We believe it, we live it, we breathe it, and we discuss it. We even talk about these types of issues at home around the dinner table with my wife and teenage daughter, who is also very passionate about environmental issues. Mostly, I’m humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to serve, and I can’t wait to do it again if given the opportunity. The clean water towers that Xylem has configured are outstanding in both design and speed of installation. If I had magic wand, I would install these towers in every location on the planet where access to clean water is limited.”