Lindsey Pluimer, Founder & CEO
Published on the 16th of December, 2022
It all started with a girl named Shanti, who I met 11 years ago while visiting South Africa. Shanti was an orphan from Mozambique and she carried the HIV virus. She particularly caught my eye because she was standoffish with me throughout my whole trip - making sure to keep her distance. But one day, our group brought donated clothes for the kids and we made sure to give Shanti long sleeves to cover her lesions.
Sure enough, the next day we show up at the orphanage and Shanti is smiling, ear to ear. That was right before the life-changing moment happened for me…
We’re playing soccer when suddenly I feel her hand slide into mine. I look at this little girl, and think about how one act of kindness was able to change her confidence and her world. That special moment completely changed the trajectory of my life. I called my agent, retired from my professional basketball career and never looked back. It just took that one simple, yet transformative, moment that led to the birth of With My Own Two Hands.
If a small act like a donated outfit could bring that type of happiness to a little girl, imagine what the gift of clean, running water or sustainable farming could do. Imagine girls like Shanti in school instead of searching for water. Or how fresh food could help diversify diets, especially for girls like Shanti who need those nutrients to maintain their health.
And now, 11 years later, we have reached 100,000 more people like Shanti, through our programs! That's 100,000 mothers, daughters, teachers, farmers, nurses, students who benefit from access to clean water, nutritious food sources and income opportunities nonexistent before.
100,000 is a big number, and really, it’s more than just a number. It’s people. Their children. Their families. Their communities. Their livelihoods. It’s transformational impact for years to come.
We do this important work, day in and day out, for them. We have met them, connected with them. We show up for them every day knowing the transformation our water and agriculture programs bring them and their families.
I couldn’t be more proud and honored to do this work alongside my team and so many amazing supporters. Reaching 100,000 people doesn’t happen with a handful of people. Countless people have shown up for us, supported us and believed in us and in our work. And I’m forever grateful. Because now, over 100,000 more people, like Shanti, can live in a world where they have clean water and healthy food sources. And that’s pretty incredible…
Thank you to you all who make this work possible. I look forward to uplifting the next 100,000 lives alongside you!