Eagle Creek and Pack H20 Help Puerto Rico

Alejandro Medellin

An outdoor company has teamed up with a non-profit to help victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, who are still without water in some regions.

Eagle Creek, purveyor of luggage and backpacks, is continuing with its “Buy a Bag, Change a Life” campaign, which has helped thousands of people around the world in previous years. Pack H2O is the non-profit supplying the packs. The venture between the two began in 2016 when they donated 1,023 Pack H2O to families in Kenya. The following year, they donated 1,499 packs in Kenya. They also donated 385 packs to families in Puebla, Mexico the same year.

undefinedA graph created by FEMA, which shows the progess made in Puerto Rico since the September hurricanes. Image via Fema

World Water Day is on the March, 22; a big reason why the campaign happens in March. Customers who wish to participate must buy a backpack, duffel, or luggage from the Eagle Creek website during the month of March. Eagle Creek will donate $8.50—the cost of a Pack H2O—to Partners For Care, who will then deliver the bag to families in need. Partners For Care is a non-profit organization that has been involved primarily in Kenyan relief efforts but have worked with Eagle Creek and Pack H20 in the past.

When David Fischer, CEO of an industrial shipping company, Greif, was in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, he noticed that the containers being used to store and move water were inadequate. Greif figured there had to be a better way, and the Pack H20 concept was born. Distribution of the pack started in 2012 and just five years later, in 2015, there was a huge earthquake in Nepal; along with Habitat for Humanity, they delivered 25,000 packs. Since then, 225,000 packs have reached the hands of people in need.

During the late Summer of 2017, Puerto Rico was visited by two major hurricanes—Irma first, and Maria second—that destroyed their electrical infrastructure, and water sources. Even after 5 months, parts of the island continue to struggle. According to a report by FEMA, dated early February, less than 20 percent of the island remains without electricity.