NANTUCKET, MA - Her hats adorn first ladies, celebrities and international persons of influence, but the creator of high end, Peter Beaton hats had a unique, and burdensome, epiphany after a trip to Tanzania. Nantucket resident and fashionista, Darcy Creech, was heartbroken when she visited Joyce, the impoverished child she sponsors through Compassion International in Tanzania, and saw the desperate need for water in the village. And thanks to her efforts, water well construction has begun.
Four kilometers. That’s how far Joyce walked each day to a nearby swamp for water. Sanitation does not exist. In a simple need for water, Darcy saw a women’s issue, a health issue, an education issue and an economic issue. Then she made it her issue.
“The residents of Olkolili, Tanzania must often consume water that is contaminated with disease, parasites, and feces simply because there is no other option. As a result, they suffer from diarrhea, worms, typhoid, hepatitis, dysentery, cholera, headaches, vomiting, kidney stones, gallstones, depression, hopelessness and more,” states Creech. “Access to clean drinking water is a critical human need.”
Investing in software, a website and magazine advertisements, Darcy created Hydrex. “Hydra, represents water while Rolex represents status, wealth and the opposite end of impoverished,” states Creech. For Darcy’s Peter Beaton clientele, she was familiar with the Rolex consumers and saw potential for a different kind of status – a bolder message.
“The message in that is, if you’re going to spend $20,000 on a Rolex as a status symbol, then spend the money on something that will really make a difference, and a different statement.”
Over Christmas, Darcy raised the necessary money to purchase the well through Compassion International. Her holiday message was simple: “Do you want to give a nicely wrapped present that will end up in a landfill or spend $60 and give people clean water for a lifetime?”
Right before Black Friday, in which Americans spent $52 billion, Darcy had a home emergency. Darcy’s sewer pipe broke in her Nantucket home. To the shock of her neighbors, she relied on a port o potty for a few weeks as it was being repaired. By
visiting a tiny village in Tanzania, Darcy had gained perspective. Her lack of a water source was a temporary problem with a $15,000 price tag – an amount Joyce’s family had never seen, much less made.
“Clean water is such an easy, affordable solution for so many problems,” says Creech. “This venture makes people search their hearts for what they want their statement to be.”