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Doing Good

Water at Work Ministry and Its Impact on Communities Across the Ocean



When the Dominican Republic (DR) comes to mind, many of us envision stunning all-inclusive resorts located in Punta Cana. However, for Jennifer Yin, a resident of Peachtree Corners, the country’s appeal goes beyond indulging in crystal-clear waters and delicious cuisine.

She doesn’t find herself continuously in the Dominican Republic for luster and splendor, but rather for something much humbler and wholesome. 

Yin previously worked as a schoolteacher but found a calling to work to improve safe water supply to developing countries. To help provide clean, safe water, Yin started a simple lemonade stand in her front yard with her two sons. 

Jennifer Yin visits with some children in Boca Chica in Feb 2022.

From this modest lemonade stand, Yin was redirected by neighbor Dan Blevins to look into Water at Work. Blevins is the Executive Director of the Water at Work Ministry. Their mission is to transform the lives of over one million of the poorest people in the Dominican Republic through clean water production plants, business development and access to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Water at Work

Water at Work had humble beginnings. Over 10 years ago, Tom Flaim created the Water at Work Ministry after visiting the DR with his church group and being astounded by the lack of clean water available to residents.

Since then, the ministry has created a partner organization in the DR. Water at Work establishes small water businesses in the country through partnering with local churches and ministries, helping to provide many communities access to clean and safe water.

A member of Peachtree Corners Baptist Church’s children’s program assembles WASH bottles.

Yin, the Director of Donor Relations, visits the DR annually. Her last trip was in the middle of June. On every trip, Yin continues to connect with residents like Rosemary, a staff member who leads community development efforts and recently created mobile dental clinics in the communities they serve for a very low cost. 

During the mobile dentist clinics, Yin saw the fruit of her efforts and witnessed Rosemary and other dentists enter the Consuelo community and treat over 50 people in eight hours with no running water or air conditioning. 

Additionally, on this most recent trip, Yin visited House of Light, an orphanage for disabled children where Water at Work had installed a water purification system 10 years ago. However, the upkeep of the basic water purification system had become too expensive for the orphanage to maintain, so the ministry began installing a new system. 

A local child gets a dental checkup at the mobile dentist.

“We are in the midst of building them a completely renovated, state-of-the-art water purification system where they will be able to provide clean water for all the orphans who live there,” said Yin. 

Through this system, they will also be able to bottle and sell water to residents nearby and use those profits to benefit the orphanage. It’s not charity, it’s a sustainable business model.

Thinking beyond your borders

Yin has greater aspirations for Water at Work but needs support. She wants to challenge the Peachtree Corners people to look beyond their own community. 

“I challenge people to think outside of their immediate communities because I’ve found that when you’re able to do that, it opens up your heart and your mind to so much more,” said Yin. “It’s amazing. The joy that you can get from helping others is something that is indescribable.”

Yin poses with a patient from the dental clinic who receives a WASH bottle.

There are many ways to support the Water at Work Ministry, one of which is Giving Tuesday. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving this year, November 28, Water at Work will have a fundraiser. 

“It is a fundraiser we do every single year, and we’ll have a matching donor for it,” said Yin. “Every dollar that is donated on Giving Tuesday will be matched 100% by someone else. So that’s a great way to band together with other people worldwide to make a difference in the nonprofit world,” Yin explained.

Also, becoming a donor is a great way to support the ministry and its mission at any time. 

Children patients from the dental clinics with their WASH bottles.

“We love when folks sign on to be monthly givers. It costs just $17 a month to provide one person with clean, safe water going forward for their lifetime,” she said.

Churches can easily get involved in the ministry’s efforts too. Simpsonwood United Methodist Church and Peachtree Corners Baptist Church put together Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) bottles before Yin’s trip to DR. Later, those WASH bottles made in Peachtree Corners were handed out to DR residents during dental clinics.

Learn more about Water at Work Ministry at wateratworkministry.org, or contact Jennifer Yin at jyin@wateratworkministry.org.

Zoey Schlueter is a senior who attends Greater Atlanta Christian School and has lived in Peachtree Corners her whole life. She enjoys written journalism inside and outside of school and plans on pursuing journalism in college.

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Doing Good

UGA Legend Shares Words of Wisdom at Salvation Army Luncheon



Former UGA head football coach Mark Richt recently spoke at a Salvation Army luncheon about faith, community, and of course, the Bulldogs.
Photos by Jon Avery of The Salvation Army

The role team sports play in building authentic relationships is pretty apparent, especially the relationship between a coach and the individual players. 

Showing strength often means showing vulnerability as well. And sometimes the strongest people can have their vulnerable moments. That’s what the Salvation Army’s ministry is all about – helping those who need a hand. 

To further that message, one of the most noteworthy coaches in University of Georgia football history, Mark Richt, shared his insights as the keynote speaker for the 10th annual “Doing the Best” luncheon on May 9 at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta NE. The event is one of the main fundraisers for the Salvation Army of Gwinnett County.  

Coach Richt’s journey

Richt shared his personal experience of being recruited out of high school and eventually going into coaching, highlighting the challenges and rewards of the journey. 

“My mom taught me what it means to love unconditionally,” said Richt. “And my dad and I connected through baseball … he taught me how to love and respect people … unfortunately he’s no longer with us.”

Having that groundwork at home helped underscore the value of relationships in sports, he said, adding that’s what helped overcome obstacles in coaching and in life.

Richt coached the Bulldogs from 2001 to 2015 and The University of Miami from 2016 to 2018. He retired with a record of 171-64.

His UGA win total is second only to Hall of Fame coach Vince Dooley’s. He was named the 2002 and 2005 SEC Coach of the Year and is currently the 10th-winningest coach in SEC history. Last year, he became the fifth coach from Georgia and the fifth Hurricanes coach to enter the College Football Hall of Fame.

The impact of faith

He shared with the audience how his faith in God helped him overcome fears and doubts – even while battling Parkinson’s disease, emphasizing his hope in the future glory of heaven.

“I got Parkinson’s, and as most people know, it’s a progressive disease that gets worse over time. It affects your movement. I get muscle rigidity,” he said. “When I got the diagnosis, I thought, ‘Well, what do I do?’”

He said he decided he was going to enjoy the blessing he had while he could. And he encouraged the audience to do the same.

“We are grateful to have Coach Richt join us for this milestone year of the Doing The Most Good Luncheon,” said Captain Paul Ryerson, commanding officer of The Salvation Army of Gwinnett County. “The need remains high for many in our community, and the funds raised through this event will allow us to continue to serve as a resource and bring hope to our local neighbors.”

Visit southernusa.salvationarmy.org/gwinnett to learn more.

The Salvation Army of Gwinnett County “Doing the Most Good” by the numbers (2023):

  • 51,134 pounds of food donated,
  • 640 number of households that received food donations,
  • 1,461 nights of shelter provided,
  • 54 number of households that received rent/mortgage and utility assistance,
  • 738 families received gifts at Christmas through the Angel Tree program and
  • 1,979 children received gifts at Christmas through the Angel Tree program.

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Doing Good

Water at Work Ministry Partners with House of Light Orphanage



Water at Work Ministry, an Atlanta-based charitable organization is proud to announce its partnership with House of Light Orphanage.
This is Pastor Lucas who opened the house of light orphanage in 2006 with the goal to care for his own child with disabilities and others who could not receive care elsewhere. Pictured with his is Water at Work’s Executive Director Dan Blevins (a Peachtree Corners resident).

Water at Work Ministry, an Atlanta-based charitable organization dedicated to providing clean water solutions to communities in the Dominican Republic, is proud to announce its partnership with House of Light Orphanage, a haven of care and education to 40 orphans with disabilities.

Together, these faith-based organizations are inaugurating a sustainable water production business to ensure access to safe water for the orphanage residents and the surrounding communities in Ciudad Juan Bosch.

This business will help sustain House of Light’s mission to provide nurture and education to children, many of whom have experienced physical and cognitive challenges since birth and abandonment by their families. 

A dedication and grand opening ceremony for the water plant was held on Tuesday, May 14, with representatives attending from Water at Work Ministries, Rotary International, Be an Angel Foundation, the local Bella Vista Rotary Club, House of Light Orphanage and the local community.  

With the opening of Water at Work’s new sustainable water plant, the House of Light Orphanage will have a consistent and reliable source of clean water to meet the needs of the orphans and the surrounding community, ensuring access to water that is safe for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.

The plant has a production capacity of 5,500 gallons per day, and is designed to be a sustainable business that will generate revenue through water sales. Clean water will be produced and affordably sold in five-gallon bottles in the surrounding communities.

Profits generated by the water business will defray the orphanage’s expenses, thereby contributing to its continued viability and moving it toward financial independence. 

This project is just one more example of how this Atlanta-based nonprofit organization is working to empower and elevate local economies in the Dominican Republic.

Over the past decade, Water at Work has established eight fully-functioning water plant businesses across the DR. Each partners with local churches with the goal of meeting people’s physical needs through water and their spiritual needs through the Living Water of Jesus. 

While many people think of the DR’s pristine beaches and resorts, locals know that poverty is rampant in many parts of the country and countless people have limited access to basic needs, including clean water. With the ongoing crisis in neighboring Haiti, ministries like Water at Work are more needed now than ever before. 

“The partnership between House of Light Orphanage and Water at Work represents a significant step forward in addressing the critical need for clean water in underserved communities,” says Water at Work Executive Director, Dan Blevins, resident of Peachtree Corners. 

“By leveraging sustainable technology and innovative solutions, both organizations will make a tangible, life-giving difference,” he added. 

Water at Work Ministry 
Email: audrie@wateratworkministry.org 
Phone: 404-465-1447

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Rooted Interiors Unveils Largest Transformation Project Yet for a Family in Need



Grandfather's bedroom before and after // photos courtesy of Rooted Interiors

Rooted Interiors, a new non-profit organization dedicated to transforming lives through design, has announced the completion of its largest transformation project to date.

With a commitment to providing complete interiors to individuals and families emerging from homelessness, Rooted Interiors continues to make a profound impact on communities, one home at a time.

The latest project marks a significant milestone for Rooted Interiors as it demonstrates the organization’s unwavering dedication to creating havens where families can plant roots and thrive.

Through meticulous planning, collaboration and the support of generous donors and volunteers, Rooted Interiors has successfully transformed a once hopeless space into a warm and welcoming home for a deserving family.

At the heart of this project is a single mother, accompanied by her two children and her father, who found themselves in dire circumstances after the mother fled from an abusive partner, forcing them to seek refuge at the Family Promise shelter in Athens, Ga.

Upon securing a new home, however, their relief was short-lived as they found themselves in a space devoid of warmth and lacking the essentials of a home.

With no furniture besides a dining room table, no washer and dryer and a malfunctioning fridge, their daily struggles persisted for three long months.

But Rooted Interiors didn’t just redesign the family’s space, they filled it with love and hope.

Through this project, the organization transformed the family’s house into a sanctuary, addressing not only their physical needs but also their emotional well-being. From carefully selected furniture to thoughtful décor choices, every detail was curated to create a space that felt like home.

“We are thrilled to unveil our latest project, which represents our continued commitment to serving those in need,” said Kristina McCalla, Founder and Executive Director of Rooted Interiors.

“Our Rooted in Renewal Program not only revitalizes physical spaces but also renews hope and stability for the family who calls this house their home,” she added.

Rooted Interiors offers a lifeline to families in need, empowering them to thrive and succeed in their journey towards independence.

“This journey is not just about creating aesthetically pleasing interiors; it’s about using the language of design to uplift and restore,” said Kristina McCalla, also Lead Interior Designer at Rooted Interiors.

“Rooted in faith and love, each project is a testament to the belief that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, deserves a place that reflects their humanity and worth. By providing a thoughtfully designed and fully furnished home, we aim to empower families to thrive and succeed in their journey towards independence,” she explained.

As Rooted Interiors continues its mission to fully furnish homes for those emerging from homelessness, this project serves as a testament to the organization’s impact and the generosity of its supporters.

Through ongoing partnerships and community engagement, the organization remains committed to building brighter futures for individuals and families in need. For more information about Rooted Interiors and how you can support their mission, visit rootedinteriors.org.

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