UNICEF may get all the publicity, Halloween fundraising, and greeting card sales, but in its own quiet way WITO brings just as much hope into the world (and is not at all jealous of its much larger cousin). In 2009, for example, they delivered over 61,500 metric tons of ice cubes (along with 875 tons of lemons) to developing nations all over the globe. In recent years they have focused their efforts on Africa, where millions go to bed each night without having had any iced tea, or worse, having only had iced tea made from a mix.
Of course like any large charity they have had difficulties fulfilling their mission. Trucks are often hijacked and ice is sold on the black market at premium prices. In Zimbabwe, where hyperinflation rules, a single cube can sell for as much as two billion Zimbabwe dollars.
In addition, corrupt government officials divert the shipments for their own use. Robert Mugabe is said to have millions of kilograms of ice and an untold number of lemons stored in freezers in Switzerland and the Bahamas. But these are problems all big charities face (even that one with all the celebrity endorsements and fancy holiday card catalogues that begins with the letter U).
I hope you’ll think of WITO the next time you want to donate to a good cause. I know I will.