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Clean-Water Mission Trip Born Inside CU Movement Becomes Local Nonprofit with Global Ambitions
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 6:50 AM

LiFE CU Karina Palos with a child
Karina Palos, Impact LiFE volunteer, speaking to a village child in the Dominican Republic, Nov. 17, 2017.

Impact LiFE will bring clean drinking water to villages in developing nations

In 2017, LiFE Federal Credit Union employees discovered a big way to live out their small credit union’s mission of living in fulfillment every day. Inspired by traditional church-sponsored mission trips, the staff gathered a group of employees and credit union members and organized a mission trip of their own.

Over five days in the Dominican Republic, the LiFE FCU crew installed two LifeStraw filters that produce enough clean drinking water for 400 people in three villages. And they outfitted 72 village residents with reading glasses donated by a business member of the credit union.

“More exciting than the tangibles were the unanticipated ways our group was able to impact the lives of the villagers,” said Deke Alexander, who led the first LiFE FCU-sponsored mission trip in 2017 and is organizing Impact LiFE’s first mission for October 2018. “As we moved about the people and the environment over those five days, we discovered other, absolutely surprising, ways we could help.”

LiFE CU group
: Impact LiFE group with village pastor (center) in the Dominican Republic, Nov. 17, 2017. (From left to right) Jonathan Autrey, mission guide; Deke Alexander, Impact LiFE president; village pastor; Karina Palos, Impact LiFE volunteer; Brianna Barber, Impact LiFE treasurer.

Alexander, who will serve as president of Impact LiFE, says the key to giving is putting yourself physically in the space you know people need help and being open to the ideas that naturally develop. It’s the concept behind the 501(c)3 he’s launching in conjunction with LiFE FCU.

Impact LiFE is a not-for-profit that will mobilize local credit union people to do good around the globe. Generosity Teams made up of people with what Alexander calls “character, competence, and connections,” will be developed and trained to help people in some of the most remote areas of the world, Dominican Republic, and beyond.

The newly formed organization’s first trip will take a Generosity Team of 12 into three villages in the Dominican Republic Oct. 17–21, 2018. There, a reported 580,000 people lack access to “at least basic” water. Alexander says Impact LiFE hopes to make trips at least annually.

Impact LiFE’s initial focus will be on helping villages in developing countries gain access to clean drinking water. According to WaterAid, one in nine people on Earth don't have clean water close to home. Alexander hopes to expand on the Impact LiFE crew’s water filter installation capabilities by eventually adding specialized expertise on the installation of groundwater wells and water filtration systems that can support greater volumes of clean water.

village woman
Village woman welcoming the Impact LiFE crew in the Dominican Republic, Nov. 17, 2017.

“The LifeStraws we have installed have been life changing, no doubt,” said Alexander. “But they can only support so many villagers per day. The need is greater. So we will be searching for partners with the expertise and willingness to advise Impact LiFE through a more impactful mission.”

Interested parties with expertise in clean water filtration are asked to contact Impact Life at betterlife@impactlife.today. Donations will be accepted at impactlife.today.

About Impact LiFE
Impact LiFE is a 501(c)(3), born from the credit union movement, that provides clean drinking water to impoverished areas in developing countries. Clean water provides a better opportunity for education, greater life expectancy and the potential to reduce poverty. True to the credit union philosophy of “people helping people,” Impact LiFE and its supporters aim to put entire communities on a path toward a brighter futures. To learn more, visit impactlife.today.