Getting Involved – Cliff Carlson

Guest blogger Cliff Carlson shares how he and his family got involved with WaterStep and how it has made an impact on his life.

 

During my daughter’s 11th grade high school year in 2007, she needed to fulfill a Beta Club requirement of outreach. While talking to a family friend, it was recommended that she look into supporting an event called I Thirst with a group called Edge Outreach, which is now WaterStep.

I remember hearing about the posters she put up and remember little else about what she did, as all she talked about was the people. She spoke about how special they were and how much of a heart they all had for helping others. She told me I needed to meet Mark Hogg and get to know him.

At the time I was an executive with PPG Porter Paints. After making the connection, Mark and I were able to bring PPG Porter Paints into the mix with various paint donations to help meet the needs of the local outreach going on at that time. As WaterStep continues to grow, it has been a blessing to be involved both personally and professionally.

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By supporting WaterStep, we are providing safe water to countries in which mothers sometimes take up to two years to give their children a name because of the extremely high death rate. We are providing WaterBalls that carry water so women who walk for miles don’t have to carry buckets on their heads. We are sending life-saving water technologies on the USNS Comfort, put on by the Southern Command of Miami which coordinates events in Central & South America as well as the Caribbean.

WaterStep changes lives for the better.

For me personally, the greatest experience I have had with WaterStep was when they acquired their new building on Myrtle Street. I had the honor to kick off the paint day with 62 professional painters at 7am that Saturday morning. I got to explain to them how what they were doing would affect people’s lives around the world forever.

That day may not sound like that big of a deal, but to me, knowing what I know about WaterStep, it was a key moment in my life. I am continually blessed to be involved currently on bigger ideas, which will not only help the city of Louisville but also further the underlying mission, which is to save lives with safe water.

The bottom line for me is, as I walk the hallways in the WaterStep building, I can’t help but feel like I am standing in the breach between life and death for so many people I may never even meet. There is something profound and beautiful in being a part of something which transcends our own lives and our world as we see it. WaterStep has given me and many other that opportunity.

 

At WaterStep, we are continually blessed by supporters from our community who sue their skills and resources to help us work toward our mission: Save lives with safe water. If you’re interested in getting involved, like Cliff, check out our many opportunities.

Comments
  1. Lori Ockels

    February 20, 2015 - 3:03 am

    Thanks for sharing Cliff. I was drawn into the WaterStep family by my sons’ and daughter’s desire to serve as well. I was a chaperone on the youth group mission trips from Delaware to Louisville. It is the heart and passion of the people at WaterStep that kept us coming back. Here we are eight years later, still a part of the growing mission of empowering the people around us to help save lives with clean water. It’s a great adventure!

  2. John Gillig

    March 4, 2015 - 4:51 pm

    Beautifully stated Cliff. Although I have only been associated with WaterStep a short time it has really meant a lot to me personally. Changing the world, one community at a time!

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