What is H2OpenDoors? A few members of the Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club in Redwood City, California had a conversation one day over lunch about how they might add to the long list of good works Rotary does. After taking a long gulp of ice water, it hit them. How fortunate we all are to virtually have all the clean, safe drinking water we could possible need. So after studying the global water issues, and learning more about how Rotary International has been on the case for a few years, we did a little more research.

One of our members used to be at GE Capital, and his pals told him about a blockbuster technology GE had developed - an ultrafiltration membrane system that physical removes pathogens, particulates and turbidity from water supplies in tremendous quantity. The core of the system has been developed into the SunSpring™ solar-powered microbiological water purifier with a daily capacity of 5000 gallons.

After a visit with the factory and the identification of our first village in a developing country to help with their water crisis, we launched H2OpenDoors, a project of the Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Foundation (a 501(c)3 charitable foundation). Our mission is to raise funds to purchase these water purification units and place them in villages in third world countries where we can make the best impact upon their health and their sustainability. Each year we will identify a location, partner up with a Rotary club in that region, run a fundraising effort, and integrate our local high school kids to study the project. Now, both Rotary clubs in Redwood City are dedicating their international efforts to the H2OpenDoors project.

How are kids involved? Since we were already supporting a local continuation high school that is geared towards helping students who have had trouble getting on a graduation track, we began work on a course and curriculum to involve them in our global outreach. After all, no matter how disadvantaged our youth are, they become inspired when they realize that their peers half a globe away don’t have any clean water to drink. They begin to count their blessings that parasites, viruses and bacteria aren’t causing illness and death in their community. With mentoring and education, they too can participate in solving this worldwide problem that affects almost one billion people today, with over 5000 people per day dying of waterborne illness.

So, the fall sessions at Redwood High will have all elements of the project woven through dozens of classrooms and assignments. Science, environment and engineering. Social studies, cultures and politics. Economics, microfinancing and social business. There is rich subject matter to be studied when it comes to solving one of the world's toughest issues.

Who are the Redwood City Rotary Clubs? A CEO of a credit union, a high school teacher, a Police Chief, a venture capitalist, a head of a marketing agency, an administrator with one large charity, an executive director of another, several entrepreneurs and community leaders. Their day jobs are diverse, but they share an unbridled passion for Rotary. Service above self. Reaching within to embrace all of humanity. Why not join us?