SOLVE Sunglasses/Water Missions International
Living in the United States and other developed countries, it is very easy to take day-to-day life for granted. One of the most common things people take for granted is the ability to receive an endless supply of safe, cold water by simply turning on a faucet. This accessibility to one of life’s fundamental necessities makes it very easy to forget that 1.1 billion people – 20% of the world’s population – do not have access to consumable water which results in approximately 25,000 deaths every day (World Health Organization and UNICEF). This astonishing fact is one of the many reasons Jeb Geesey and Justin Kroboth, firefighters from Charleston, South Carolina, took it upon themselves to team up with Water Missions International and contribute to causes that help supply water to those in need with the design, production and distribution of SOLVE Sunglasses.
“Being firefighters, our mindset has always been to help others,” says Geesey. “To know that approximately one in nine people don’t have access to clean water is tragic.” While the obstacle is vast, SOLVE’s mission is straight-forward: “With every pair [purchased], SOLVE will give someone in need clean water for life.”
This “one pair, one life” guarantee is maintained by SOLVE’s affiliation with Water Missions International, a nonprofit ministry that constructs water sanitation systems in developing areas and disaster zones. “We were doing research and looking around at different organizations that are helping solve the world water crisis,” says Kroboth. “One [mission] that hit home was Water Missions International… Their facility is incredible. Their staff is very passionate and it shows in their work. It seemed an obvious choice.” Specifically, Jeb and Justin were taken back with WMI’s response to the Haiti earthquake in 2010, where the ministry was able to send 10 water sanitation systems capable of producing 100,000 gallons of consumable water per day.
Over the course of a year, SOLVE Sunglasses have gone from concept to product. TRUiST’s Operations Coordinator, William Ross, became very interested in supporting their cause when he learned about the SOLVE Sunglasses project through a high school friend. Having backpacked through Vietnam and Central America, William has seen first-hand the ramifications of those who lack access to water and became interested in joining the many individuals contributing to Jeb and Justin’s initiative. “The support has been great,” says Geesey. “We feel this is a cause that can’t be ignored and it’s exciting for people to get enthusiastic about what we are doing.”
SOLVE’s next steps are to grow and get the word out about the severity of the water crisis. In the next year, they aim to be able to fund the entire cost of one of WMI’s water systems. They plan on releasing the follow-up to their first pair of sunglasses, the WAI, in the summer of 2013, while continuing to be active in the community. According to Kroboth, their ultimate goal is to, “change as many lives as possible.” They aim to release a quality product that people can get behind while simultaneously supporting a great cause. “For now, we go one day at a time. Every pair is another life changed and that’s exciting for us.”
To learn more about SOLVE Sunglasses and Jeb and Justin’s mission, visit http://www.solvesunglasses.com/.