Philanthropy undergoes a sea change
thanks to Jack and Jon Rose.
Philanthropy needn’t come from riches. A groundswell of ingenuity, innovation, and execution will do just fine. Take the deluge of difference Jack and Jon Rose have made through Jon’s nonprofit, Waves For Water, in providing access to clean H2O to 7.5 million people in 15 countries in only three years’all by digging or restoring wells and delivering portable, inexpensive filters and rain-catchment systems to places where Evian and Perrier aren’t on the menu.
Call it the new age of Aquarius, or as Jon dubs it, “social entrepreneurism,” and “guerilla humanitarianism.” Nor does giving have to hurt. “That old model of you have to drop everything and join the Peace Corp is no longer true,” says Jon, who before founding Waves For Water in 2009 was a professional surfer for 13 years, traveling the far reaches of the world in an Endless Summer quest for the next great ride. “Our whole philosophy is do what you love and help along the way,” says Jon.
That imparts a key tenant taught by his father, Jack, a surfer as well as a ski bum for 10 years “before Jon was born,” who then became a purveyor of joint adventure. “We were up and down the coast in a VW van. I grew up that way, too,” says Jack, whom his son calls “a skilled problem solver who has the ability to innovate by making things simpler.”
To wit, while sitting at his drafting table one rainy day, Jack decided to design an inexpensive apparatus to collect falling rainwater. In short order, he started RainCatcher, a nonprofit that teaches villagers in Africa and other parts of the world how to catch and filter rainwater. “I went to Africa, helped set up a system, came back to California, worked and saved for a year, then did it again,” he explains.
Coincidentally, not long after, Jon was on the surf circuit when, en route to Bali, a devastating earthquake hit Padang (the capital of West Sumatra). “It was a crash course in disaster relief; it changed everything for me,” he says. Thus was Waves For Water born, and thus did the Roses join forces completely. “We complement each other,” says Jack, who has since left RainCatcher to work with Jon full time. “I’m more internal, he’s better at external.” Besides, says Jon, “How cool is it to work with your dad?”
Read more at http://la-confidential-magazine.com/galleries/the-citys-most-successful-fathers-and-sons#vC6bQpVcdYYRXrgV.99
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