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In Case You Forgot Someone…

Water for Workers takes the moment of empathy anyone feels stepping out into a Gulf summer day–“Phew, it’s hot!—what if I were working outside?”—and turns it into a wildly contagious act of sharing.

The act is simple: volunteers bring cold bottled water and facecloths printed with “thank you” to workers and thank them for their labor. But it creates a core human connection. Multiplying these connections is the mission of the [sameness] project, the Dubai-based cooperative that runs W4W and several other campaigns for human unity.

“Dubai is a beautiful and incredibly well-maintained city, and a lot of that is due to the gardeners, laborers, and street cleaners who keep it that way. It’s really easy to just drive past them and carry on life without really acknowledging them,” explains [sameness] project co-founder Jonny Kennaugh.  “Water for Workers helps create a moment where those lines can be erased and two human beings can have a simple interaction that might not otherwise happen.”

Launched small in 2012, the monthly event has now snowballed to over 30,000 bottles given away in 2013, thanks in part to PepsiCo’s sponsorship. To fine-tune the message, the “thank-you” label on each bottle is written in English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, and Tagalog.

For more info –  Water for Workers link

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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