Doc Hendley is a 2009 CNN Hero. He is President/Founder of the organization Wine To Water
“When the idea came to me to start Wine to Water the only real job experience I had was tending bar,” said Hendley, “I dreamed of building an organization that fought water related death and disease using different methods than anyone else. So, I started raising money to fight this water epidemic that best way I knew how, by pouring wine and playing music.
In 2003, he dreamed up the concept of his organization while bartending and playing music in nightclubs around Raleigh, NC. In February 2004, the first fundraiser was held for what would one day be Wine To Water and by August of that same year Hendley was living in Darfur, Sudan installing water systems for victims of the government supported genocide. Putting his life in peril, along with those on his team who were committed to providing clean water for the world, two of which were killed during this period, Hendley returned home with an even stronger sense of the need of clean water around the globe.
When Doc returned home in August 2005, after spending a year in Darfur, the haunting memories of what he had seen in Darfur drove him to continue building the organization he started two years prior. In 2007, after working two jobs and volunteering his time for 3 years, Wine To Water became an official 501 (c) (3) and Doc’s dream finally became a reality. He now has projects in 9 different countries around the world and has saved thousands of lives by providing humanity’s most basic need and right, clean drinking water.
Doc lives in Boone, NC with his wife, Amber, and two sons, Justice and Beattie. Balancing family life and the demands of building Wine to Water, Doc Hendley continues to travel to underdeveloped, war-ridden nations, working in the field to bring clean water to those in need.