So far, this incredible partnership has resulted in eight wells within its first year! We are so excited about the potential of this partnership, and we are incredibly grateful for John Blyckert!

For his devotion to helping those in need and for his creative thinking and willingness to go the extra mile for the people of rural East Africa, and Water to Thrive!

Today, with the advancement of technology, the world is much smaller than it was 100 years ago.  While I do work to get to know my actual neighbors, and I volunteer to help the less fortunate in my community (a drop in center for homeless youth – called Cup of Cool Water), I also feel a longing to make a difference to those in need where I can help make the biggest impact, in this case clean water thru W2T – where the seed was planted in my heart years earlier.

While sure I could donate $ to W2T by myself, I wanted to make a more significant impact than my own financial resources would allow me to do.

For example, when you go to a grocery store, the credit card reader always asks if you would like to donate a dollar to charity, or my local hardware stores asks if I would like to round up the sales price to the next $ and provide the difference/change to charity.  There are a lot of ways a person can be creative right where they are in life to make a difference for others.

I wanted to make a difference and leave the world in a better place than I found it.  As a Christian, I wanted to follow God’s command to love my neighbor.  So as I said, the idea of using my current sales position, as a plush salesperson, popped into my head.  I had created sales promotions with our plush animals for other companies where a portion of the sales goes to charity – why couldn’t I also do that for the charity of my choosing where I could help others?

I created a plush assortment of African animals along with a custom hangtag in the shape of Africa that says I CHANGE LIVES and a point of purchase sign that talks about W2T and how $1.00 from each piece sold would go towards building freshwater wells in Africa.

My main customers are grocery store chains including Albertsons/Safeway and Whole Foods among others.  I educated the buyers on how we would upcharge them $1.00/pc and then donate that $ to W2T.  That when they purchased 417 cases (5,004pcs – $5,004), they would order enough to build a well for a community that will last for 20+ years.  In addition, they would be able to customize a plaque for the well, receive the GPS coordinates and a photo of the well with the villagers that they helped.  My plan it is to create a nice, framed image of the photo, add a metal engraved sign with the GPS coordinates, perhaps with a location pin on a map of Africa and send that to each of my buyers for their office, with the hopes that they will want to redo the sales promotion again the following year.

So far, I have presold enough for 7 wells and I’m working on more.

In addition, after this initial success, I now have our company looking to create an assortment that will go into our giftline for our entire sales force to sell – again with $ going back to W2T from each purchase.

My Goal is to help others to have freshwater – wouldn’t you want that for yourself?  I do not need the credit – I’m happy to let the companies buying the items get the tax deduction, to be able to personalize the plaque and etc. – I’m content knowing that the end result will be changed lives; that I’m leaving the world a better place by loving God and loving others as myself.  Who knows, maybe this idea will inspire others as well?


  • John Blyckert