Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wine to Water: A Bartender’s Quest to Bring Clean Water to the World by Doc Hendley Review and GIVEWAY!

 Wine to Water is the uplifting and heart-breaking personal journey of a young man finding his calling in life. Dickson “Doc” Hendley is the son of a preacher who spent many years trying to discover his true passion in life. He knew he loved Harley motorcycles, playing his guitar, and being a bartender in North Carolina. But it wasn’t until he met a woman who told him about her husband’s work at an aid organization called Samaritan’s Purse that Doc felt his interest truly perked. Doing research on his own, he discovered that there is a vast worldwide water crisis. Disturbed by this knowledge, Doc put together a “wine to water” event at a local bar to raise awareness of the crisis and raise money.

After trying to donate the money to Samaritan’s Purse, Doc was roped in by the organization to see for himself the crisis first hand. Asked to be sent to the worse place in the world, Doc was sent to Darfur in 2004. Once there, Doc went to the UN “no-go” hot spots to help the people that other aid organizations didn’t assist. First hand he discovered the atrocities of a government sponsored genocide. Although he found himself mostly against the Janjaweed terrorists, he also helped them out to have clean drinking water. He also realized that while he sided with the SLA rebels, they were not saints.

On the ground in Darfur, Doc learned that he was good working with people and solving problems. Instead of putting in expensive new wells, he and his crew soon became experts at fixing the wells as a much cheaper alternative. He also learned that to truly achieve clean water, he had to educate the people on how to maintain and fix their own wells.

Doc faced many death defying experiences and also came face to face with pure evil. From it, he was able to find himself, his faith, and a future where he could continue to help those most at need. As Doc stated in the book, he realized that he didn’t have to be a perfect do-gooder, to do good in this world.

I found Doc to be a truly admirable person. His story was like himself, straightforward with no embellishments. His story was very interesting and also at times action packed. It starts with him and his convoy getting shot at and fleeing for their lives. To put your own life on the line to help those most in need is commendable, but Doc is never seeking the commendation. His story really gives the details of what was going on in Darfur, which I admit; I only had the slightest knowledge. Certain aspects of the story, such as when he meets young boy soldiers that show him where their teachers and fellow students were executed, brought me to tears.

The world water crisis is something that I am very interested in as a water resources engineer. I don’t think most people in America realize how lucky we are. You turn on the faucet and get clean drinking water, and when you flush the toilet it disappears. No one thinks about the process it took to get the water to your house or to treat your waste. Clean water in America in the twentieth century is credited as being the number one health benefit for saving lives, not vaccines. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is as lucky as we are. I vastly admire those that help people across the world find clean drinking water. I had several friends that joined the Peace Corp with such intent in mind, and others that are in Engineers without Borders to also help. I have a dream to also help with Engineers without Borders in about ten years when my kids are bigger. This book really makes me want to follow this dream.

Overall, Wine to Water puts a face to the worldwide water crisis while also telling a darn good story. It is a very fast book to read. In fact my only complaint about the book is that I wanted to know more details about the last five years of Doc’s life, it was glossed over. Book 2 – Wine to Water in Haiti?

I reviewed Wine to Water as part of the TLC Book Tour. For a complete schedule, please check out this link. For more information about the great organization Wine to Water, check out this these links:

Twitter: @DocHendley or @winetowater = or!/winetowater

Giveaway Details

Penguin books and Doc Hendley have graciously offered a giveaway of one copy of Wine to Water by Doc Hendley.

If you would like to win this book please leave a comment about what intrigues you about the this book or this review. 

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a monte carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to US and Canadian residents (Sorry!).

No P.O. Boxes.

The deadline for entry is midnight, Friday January 13, 2012.   This giveaway deadline has been extended to Friday January 20th!

Good luck!


  1. Although this is unlike any other book I have read before, I love a great inspirational story. Not necessarily the type that requires doing huge things to make a difference, but when a person or people do something good for others just because it's the right thing to do. The way that he got involved in that project by having a fundraiser in the bar is how good intentions turn into life changing events. Not only did he change many other peoples lives for the better, he was changed
    in the process.
    I thought that you did a great job of reviewing this book! You brought even more life to the story along with the blurb.
    Please enter me in the giveaway, as I would
    absolutely love to read and review this book
    for myself!
    Thanks so much!

  2. What an inspiring and special story and individual. thanks for this treasure of a giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. This remarkable story would be memorable to learn about. Your review was excellent. This young man is admirable for his bravery and determination. many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  4. I am always drawn to stories of people who are making a difference in the world. They help inspire and motivate me to continue to serve my fellow man.

  5. This sounds like an amazing story! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  6. Water can dissolve many different substances, giving it varying tastes and odors. Humans and other animals have developed senses that enable them to evaluate the potability of water by avoiding water that is too salty or putrid.

  7. Good luck to all of the participants!

  8. This giveaway has now ended and the winner has been notified.