Greg Keen Brings Sawyer Perspective to Vietnam with ATTA
The April trip to Vietnam was a unique opportunity for Sawyer’s representative, Gregg Keen, to join One ATTA Time in taking water filtration systems to children and families in extreme need of clean water. Formerly the Program Director with Compassion International, one of Sawyer’s largest customers, Gregg joined the Sawyer team five years ago to work with non-government organizations, non-profits and churches in his role to help Sawyer educate the international community. Gregg has traveled with other Sawyer customers in the past, but has a true heart for the work, leadership and partners of One ATTA Time. Gregg shared his admiration for not only the way ATTA engages in partnerships in each country, but for the passion and hearts of ATTA’s Executive Director and his wife, Kelsey. On Sawyer’s behalf, Gregg was able to see first-hand, the work being done by ATTA in Vietnam and the many lives being saved with the delivery and implementation of the Sawyer filtration systems.
“I love to see these operations when people do it well, and Sean’s model has extra training and train-the-trainer elements that are key to the filters lasting a long time for the people in need.” Gregg said during the interview. “The follow-up is critical to the success of the filters and ATTA really knows what they are doing and how to engage local partners to maintain this follow-up and ensure the lifespan of the filters for many years.”
He shared how impressed he is by Sean’s family and he and Kelsey’s amazing hearts for the children in need. Sean and Kelsey had their two young children on the trip, as well as Kelsey’s dad, and Gregg saw their connection with the people, culture and children of Vietnam. Gregg spent years with his own young children in remote areas of the world helping those in need, and talked about the difficulty, health and safety risks, and toughness of international work. It is a fascinating life and environment for a family, but is not all of the glamour that it appears in the beautiful photos. Gregg shared his admiration for Sean, Kelsey and their families for their enthusiasm and dedication to serving those in need in this way.
This trip was also a chance for Gregg to offer his 17-year old great-nephew a new perspective as his first trip outside of the United States. He said that the local partners in Vietnam took the time to help him learn, and that the experience for his great-nephew, a high school football player who towered over most of the local people, was remarkable. This trip with ATTA was a fantastic learning experience for him.
Gregg talked about Sawyer, and the company’s transformation through the relationship with organizations like ATTA, who are changing lives with clean water. The company’s initial market was the North American outdoor market. The filters are a convenient tool for backpacking and outdoor adventure, so Sawyer primarily focused on that marketplace. But over time, saving lives internationally has changed the company’s thinking and it no longer exists just for profit, it now is focused on giving back. They take the profits from U.S. sales to the outdoor markets to help bring clean water to those in need internationally. That profit is put it into helping lower the costs of filters being taken to help those in need.
The global need that Sawyer is trying to help meet is tremendous. Latin America, Africa and so many places beyond those that ATTA currently serves are in desperate need of clean water. Sawyer is also working with churches, the American Red Cross and the U.N. system. They work with many of the big names in charity, but their hearts are to partner with organizations that have a vision and a purpose like ATTA’s, where they can support the vision and the people. Whether helping one child with one filter, one family, one village or one country at a time, Sawyer is a true partner in saving lives.
Looking back to the day that Sean attended a best practices meeting at the Sawyer factory in Safety Harbor, Forlida, Gregg recalls Sean’s dedication to helping children with clean water and his desire to work on a full-time basis with ATTA. Gregg shared that One ATTA Time is very near and dear to the hearts of everyone at Sawyer. The people at Sawyer see the joy in Sean and Kelsey as they pour their hearts into making a difference. Knowing that each filter makes life better for a family, and that even one child’s life has been saved with clean water is a great fulfillment of ATTA’s and Sawyer’s vision, one trip at a time.