PHILADELPHIA—In October of 2018, Hersha Hotels and Resorts announced that EarthView, their corporate sustainability program, will provide support to Waterboys, the hallmark initiative of The Chris Long Foundation, through the sale of EarthView water bottles at Hersha hotels. EarthView bottles are made from 100 percent recycled materials, and for each bottle sold, Hersha donates $1 to support Waterboys’ clean water projects in East Africa. Since the launch, EarthView water sales have surpassed expectations. Hersha hotels from coast to coast were empowered to significantly contribute to the cause through water sales—from Maryland’s Annapolis Waterfront hotel selling 4,511 bottles to Hotel Milo in Santa Barbara, Calif., raising $8,338 in donation dollars. The first well from proceeds is scheduled to be completed in March 2020 in Unyankumi—a village in the Singida Region of Tanzania.
“Our EarthView water bottle provides clean, safe water to our guests while at the same time offers life-sustaining water to a community in need. In this way, we can help address the pressing challenges we face as a global society while supporting our company’s goals and the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Jay H. Shah, Hersha’s CEO. “Our first well in Tanzania will provide water to 8,000 people who previously lacked any permanent source of clean water.”
As with many communities around the world, the villagers of Unyankumi have faced challenges regarding accessible, clean water and sanitation. Current conditions have caused the community to depend on hand-dug wells owned by individuals that often dry up and are insufficient to serve all the villagers. Lack of clean water also leads to many other challenges, including barriers to education, agriculture, and healthcare in the community. The creation of a well will not only save countless hours spent retrieving water but will also give the community a better chance at developing a secondary school in the future—currently, only a primary school exists in the community.
Launched in 2015 by former Philadelphia Eagle Chris Long, Waterboys unites NFL and NBA players, fans, and corporate supporters in service. The charity provides underserved rural communities in emerging economies with clean, safe and sustainable water by drilling wells to serve communities in need.
“Our first year of partnership with Hersha has yielded tremendous results for Waterboys and, more importantly, for the community of Unyankumi that will be transformed by the well that has been funded,” said Chris Long, founder Chris Long Foundation. “We pride ourselves on our ability to engage fans and corporations in innovative ways with our mission. EarthView water bottles are another example of how the collective impact of raising awareness in multiple hotels paired with fans making one small action can result in meaningful change for thousands of people.”