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From Nightclub Promoter to a Life of Service
The Power of Serving Others
Like many glamorous young twenty-year-olds, Scott Harrison spent a decade partying in ritzy nightclubs and exotic locations. As a nightclub promoter, he lived a fast-paced and glamorous reality. He lived a life of materialism and excess; caught in a cycle of drugs, booze, and models. He thought only about himself. Until, one day, he stopped.
His wake up call led to a massive transformation and today he runs a global charitable organisation, bringing clean water to people who need it all over the world.
He describes his old life as one where he was being eaten away by his own selfishness and hedonism. He was trapped in the endless pursuit of more. Then one day, he realised that there would never be enough. Walking away from everything, Harrison spent the next 16 months on a hospital ship in West Africa, where he discovered his true calling.
In 2006, with no money and less than zero experience, Harrison founded Charity: Water. Today, his organisation has raised over $300 million to bring clean drinking water to more than 8.2 million people around the globe. The author of Thirst: A story of redemption, compassion and a mission to bring clean water to the world, he is inspiring people to find meaning in their lives by helping others.
“It should be cool to give. It should be cool to be generous. It should be cool to say yes to helping out.” – Scott Harrison
Charity: Water founder, Scott Harrison, on how he found purpose in his life.
Waking Up to a New Purpose
His charity is renowned for its 100% donation model and is an example for other charitable foundations, with its new approach to fundraising and solving global issues.
I think so many charities have operated in shame and guilt: Let me make you feel as bad as possible about yourself so you’ll reach into your wallet and give. For us, it’s much more invitational. It’s a great opportunity not based in guilt or shame, no one is going to wear a T-shirt about an organisation that makes you feel lousy about yourself. But we do wear T-shirts from Nike because Nike makes us feel great about ourselves. Nike believes that within us is greatness. – Scott Harrison
We can all make a difference. Today his goal is to bring clean water to the 100 million people who don’t have it now. He says that just eight years ago, 1 billion people on the planet didn’t have access to clean water–now it’s down to 740 million. We have already brought 5 million people water through our work.
“It’s never too late to build a better life, and to make a contribution and a tremendous difference in the world. All it takes is a choice.”