Dickson Beattie “Doc” Hendley is the President/Founder of the organization Wine to Water, an American charitable organization devoted to providing clean water and sanitation to people around the world. Doc lives in Boone, NC with his wife, Amber, and two sons, Justice and Beattie. Balancing family life and the demands of building Wine to Water, Doc Hendley continues to travel to underdeveloped, war-ridden nations, working in the field to bring clean water to those in need.
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North Carolina, US
Entrepreneurs, Entry Level, Management, Senior Executives
• Teaches us to do what we can with what we have
• Illustrates the immense power of relationships to transcend perceived barriers
• Proves the power of one to transform the impossible into the inevitable
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When these words were spoken by Dr. Jim Woodward, Chancellor of NC State University, thunderous applause echoed through the crowd and a humble, grateful smile flashed across Doc Hendley’s face.
Doc Hendley is the epitome of the individual who has made a difference. Tens of thousands of people around the world have clean drinking water they did not have before an idea popped into the head of this ‘tattooed keg-tapper’ musician’s head. Hendley realized that just by using his ability to bartend and create relationships with people, he might be able to help the problem. At the bars where he worked, he started raising money to fight this water epidemic the best way he knew how, by pouring wine and playing music.
Hendley has taken personal risks to do the hard work of providing water and clean water education in far flung locations around the globe. He worked in dozens of refugee camps installing water systems for victims of Darfur’s government supported genocide. Often inside the United Nations’ dangerous “no-go” zones, he distributed water or chlorine tablets to people with only plastic sheeting for shelter.
Hendley was named one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2009 (chosen from over 9,000 applicants by a panel of judges including Gen. Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner and Sir Elton John).
Today Hendley’s Wine to Water foundation aims to help the 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean water. By using wine events to raise money and awareness about the lack of clean drinking water in the developing world, Doc Hendley has harnessed a powerful social force and multiplied the generosity of many.
Doc is, in essence, turning wine to water for some of the neediest people on the planet for three simple reasons:
1. At least one in six people worldwide lack access to adequate amounts of safe water for drinking and hygiene, according to the UN.
2. Water borne illnesses kill far more children the HIV/AIDS and Malaria combined.
3. Unclean water contributes to diarrhea, the leading cause of illness and death, and translates to 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.
Doc did not dream of dedicating his life to humanitarian efforts in developing countries. Far from it, in fact. He graduated from NC State University with a communications degree he wasn’t sure how to use. While bartending to pay the bills, he noticed the men and women sitting on the stools seemed to want to be part of something bigger. The 30-year-old Hendley got inspired behind the bar, and today his nonprofit group, Wine to Water, has dug, repaired and sanitized drinking wells for 25,000 people in five Third World countries. It’s an idea that started with wine tastings and a humble donation jar.
Hendley calls himself proof that anyone, even a ‘tattooed keg-tapper’, can cure what ails the world.
Digging for Hope: Turning Wine to Water & Other Modern Day Miracles
Wine To Water founder Don Hendley teaches a simple but profound principle for improving the world: do what you can with what you have. Hendley’s work aims to help the 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean water. Experience his journey to sub-Saharan Africa, where 42 percent of the population lives without yard taps, household connections or other improvements to sanitize water. Unclean water is the number one killer of children in the world. Water borne illnesses kill far more children than HIV/AIDS and Malaria combined. Every 15 seconds a child dies from unclean water.
Hendley was named one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2009 (chosen by a panel of judges including Gen. Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner and Sir Elton John). He is the author of Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World, and the founder of an International Fundraising Organization. Hendley illustrates the immense power of relationships to transcend perceived barriers, proving the power of one to transform the impossible into the inevitable.
"Doc was not only charming and modest, he is one of the most inspiring speakers I have ever heard. He takes you on an emotional journey to communities whose living conditions are unimaginable to most of us, and his ability share his vision, his passion, his commitment and his excitement for his global mission has ignited a flame of passion in our membership as well. We have had the pleasure of Doc's company at all of our events since that one last winter, and we have united behind him and his efforts to make a difference in the world. We are better people as the result of knowing Doc... We think Doc is indeed a "HERO"!" — Carol Owen, VP, Leadership Development and President-elect, SITE SOUTHEAST
"Doc is a fantastic person in every way. His humility and dedication to making the world a better place is contagious for children and adults. His colorful and human stories of Africa and his work kept these youngsters captivated. I enthusiastically recommend him." — Scott Brogan, Founding Director, Brilliant Lecture Series - Conversations with Brilliance
"Doc Hendley started the organization and label 'Wine to Water' to help more than one billion people on the planet who go without clean drinking water. In the United States, we just can't imagine that a glass of water could kill us. But Doc couldn't stop thinking about it. And so this bartender from North Carolina decided to meet one of the world's greatest challenges... So when you order that wine, and I know you will, don't forget to toast Doc, a hero who had the courage to meet a challenge and believe that one person really can change this world." — Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Actress/Environmentalist (transcribed from CNN Heroes 2009 broadcast)
"Doc Hendley is the epitome of the individual who has made a difference. He never planned to do this but when he saw a need, he saw that he had a talent to actually direct efforts at improving that need. As a result literally tens of thousands of people around the world now have clean drinking water they did not have before Doc Hendley came along. I am honored quite frankly to have Doc Hendley graduate as a graduate of NC State." — Dr. Jim Woodward Chancellor, NC State University