Since naming Splash as its corporate charity in 2011, Antunes has worked with the nonprofit to not only equip them with quality water filtration systems but also to raise awareness and funds for their goal of providing clean drinking water to children around the world. Here, Antunes’ VP of Administration and Splash advocate Jane Antunes Bullock answers a few questions about this unique partnership.
In your opinion, what makes Splash stand out from other non-profit organizations?
First, the fact that they assist children in poverty — for both Glenn and me, having teaching backgrounds and being parents, we’re very tied to any organization working with children.
Even beyond that, however, we were drawn to the Splash model. They have a very good 10-year execution plan based on choosing installation sites at institutions with a continuous director presence. Splash requires an institution to take ownership of the water filtration system so that at the end of the 10 years, they can step away and know the site will continue to operate successfully.
What has it been like seeing Splash’s impact firsthand?
Throughout the company’s relationship with Splash, Glenn and I have had the privilege of taking two trips to installation sites.
The first was to the Sichuan province of China in 2009 — one year after the devastating earthquake. We were some of the first Westerners who were allowed to enter this area and visit displacement schools and housing centers. One thing that stood out was that even though these children had had their lives turned upside-down, they were acting just like any other group of students. At the displacement camps, we heard stories about the long journeys people took to the camp and saw their appreciation for the clean drinking water. It was difficult to see because there was so much destruction, but it was amazing to see their resiliency and desire to rebuild their lives.
In 2011, we went to Ethiopia. The 10 water filtration systems we planned to install were stuck in customs, so we made the most of our time there, visiting various sites with ties to Splash, including an orphanage, feeding center and public and private schools. We saw how the clean drinking water from Splash supports these other organizations that are also serving the community’s needs.
One story stands out to me. Through playing games with the children at the orphanage, we learned that they loved ice cream, which is one of our favorites as well, so we made a special trip to bring back gelato for them. The school nurse was hesitant to let the children enjoy dessert before lunch, but with the 100° heat causing it to melt, they made an exception for our visit!
What has been the highlight of 2016 when it comes to the Antunes/Splash partnership?
The Antunes annual golf outing is a highlight every year, but we were excited to raise $47,000 from this year’s event — the highest amount to date. Additionally, Eric Stowe, Splash’s founder and director, gave an impactful presentation to all of the golfers and guests on Splash’s model and the role the organization is playing as urban impoverished areas are growing and water is becoming more polluted. Attendees commented to us that it was great to know more about Splash and to see where their money was going – and as a result many wanted to donate more.
Do you have any plans to help with any new Splash projects next year?
Eric wants us to go to Nepal to meet the people, help with installations and experience the impact our partnership has had in this country. Our water filtration systems were in 150 schools when the earthquake occurred in 2015. If the school’s pipes weren’t damaged, the site was still able to get clean drinking water and became a water-distribution point for earthquake victims from the surrounding communities. Today, Splash serves more than 124,199 children daily in Nepal, and we’re hoping to make our trip in spring 2017 to see this firsthand.
Overall, our goal is to be advocates for Splash, not just donors, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to partner with this commendable organization.
For more information on the Antunes and Splash partnership, visit our Social Responsibility page.