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Doc Hendley

Founder & International President of Wine To Water, Global Humanitarian

Top 10 CNN Hero & Sustainability Advocate

My efforts are going to be a drop in the bucket, but if I would have never taken that step because it was too big of a problem, then we wouldn’t be anywhere right now.
Doc Hendley

Doc Hendley is proof that anyone, even a tattooed keg-tapper, can cure what ails the world.

In 2003 Doc Hendley dreamed up the concept of Wine To Water while bartending and playing music in nightclubs around Raleigh, North Carolina. In January of 2004 he held his first fundraiser and by August was living in Darfur, Sudan installing water systems for victims of the government-supported genocide.

Making a Difference

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 tend bar 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.

Humanitarian

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.

CNN Hero

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).

Wine to Water Foundation

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.

Clean Drinking Water

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.

 

  • Hell or High Water: How One Man Turned Wine into Water and Transformed Customers into Crusaders
  • Digging for Hope: Turning Wine to Water & Other Modern Day Miracles

His story is amazing and inspirational, yet a tad frightening at the beginning(Darfur!). His use of imagery really brings his spoken story to life for his audience. What a humble and genuine man — for someone who has experienced and accomplished so much in the humanitarian field, his modesty is remarkable. In a room of hundreds of corporate executives and government and NGO officials, he easily captivated attention because his commitment to the cause is real, his passion is clear, and his speaker presence is engaging. It was a pleasure to get to talk to him more during the event reception, where Wine to Water wine was served.
K Taylor | CHAMBER BCLC GLOBAL CONFERENCE

There is one thing that rings true every time I get the pleasure of hearing Doc Hendley speak – his passion comes through and hits you like nothing you’ve ever experienced in your lifetime. It’s not just the way he interacts with the audience, a sort of down home person that you seem to already know even though you don’t, but it’s the message about improving who we are as people each and every day, and helping those who have difficulty helping themselves because of places they live in or the circumstances of their country. Doc brings that message of hope and seems to naturally lift every person out of their comfort chair and into the wilds of Africa or the devastation in Haiti right alongside him. You feel everything that he feels and see everything that he saw. We are just enamored to be part of his world in a small way and hoping to work with him to better our world in a meaningful way.
Rich Henning | UNITED WATER

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

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Biography

Doc Hendley is proof that anyone, even a tattooed keg-tapper, can cure what ails the world.

In 2003 Doc Hendley dreamed up the concept of Wine To Water while bartending and playing music in nightclubs around Raleigh, North Carolina. In January of 2004 he held his first fundraiser and by August was living in Darfur, Sudan installing water systems for victims of the government-supported genocide.

When Doc returned home in 2005, the haunting memories of what he had seen in Darfur drove him to continue growing the organization he had started only two years earlier. And in 2007, after working two jobs and volunteering his time for over three years, Wine To Water became an official 501 (c)(3) and Doc’s dream finally became a reality.

Hendley’s work aims to help the 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean water, a figure estimated by the World Health Organization. Nearly two-thirds of that group lives in Asia. In sub-Saharan Africa, 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 the HIV/AIDS and Malaria combined. Every 15 seconds a child dies from unclean water.

Doc 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). “There is one thing that rings true every time I get the pleasure of hearing Doc Hendley speak–his passion comes through and hits you like nothing you’ve ever experienced in your lifetime. It’s not just the way he interacts with the audience, a sort of down home person that you seem to already know even though you don’t, but it’s the message about improving who we are as people each and every day, and helping those who have difficulty helping themselves because of places they live in or the circumstances of their country.

Doc brings that message of hope and seems to naturally lift every person out of their comfort chair and into the wilds of Africa or the devastation in Haiti right alongside him. You feel everything that he feels and see everything that he saw. We are just enamored to be part of his world in a small way and hoping to work with him to better our world in a meaningful way.”–Rich Henning, United Water, 2011 North American Managers Conference His book, “Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World” (Avery:Penguin, Jan 2012), is a captivating story of an ordinary bartender who’s changing the world through clean water.

Presentations

Doc Hendley was once a small-town bartender with a dream of changing the world through clean water. Through a series of simple wine-tasting events to raise funds for clean-water projects that he launched in North Carolina, he has created an international fundraising organization that provides clean water and sanitation to people in need around the world.

In this speech, Hendley shares insights on how others can put simple ideas into action and use it to solve problems on the local, national, and international level.

In this inspirational keynote, Wine To Water founder Doc Hendley teaches audiences a simple but profound principle for improving the world: do what they can with what they have. As the founder of an international fundraising organization that had humble origins, Hendley illustrates the immense power of relationships to transcend perceived barriers, proving the power of one to transform the impossible into the inevitable.

Areas of expertise

  • Sustainability
  • Inspiration
  • Resilience
  • Motivation
  • Social Impact
  • Teamwork

Related Speaking Topics

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