For the past four years, Heather Hess has had plenty to do as the Customs and Trade Compliance Manager for Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA). Even as she oversees imports and exports for the United States and Canada, however, she has taken time each year since 2015 to organize a World Water Day festival using Project WET activities at the NWNA headquarters office in Stamford, CT.
Heather says her motivations for being involved with Project WET come from both personal and professional experience.
“I’m a mother,” she told Project WET recently, “so I really enjoy sharing my passion for learning with children. I love seeing the students’ reactions to the activities and every year, I learn something from them.”
Heather first used Project WET in 2015 when she organized her first festival. She said she loves Project WET activities because they are “pertinent, so easy to understand and apply, and fun!”
“Here’s an example: one of the activities we do is about recycling,” Heather wrote. “When the children come into the room, they see items representing trash spread all over the ground. The first thing we tell them is to imagine it’s their yard or neighborhood or playground and what should they do? Pick it up! They collect the trash and put it in a can. Then we take it out and ask them to sort it by type and talk about each – can it be recycled, composted, or can it be reused? Their ideas are so creative and inspiring. We often get responses back from the schools telling us that the students have taken the learning from this activity and applied it to their own lives, both at school and at home. Helping them to make that connection is what makes these events so impactful.”
Project WET and Nestlé Waters have been working together for more than 20 years, and thousands of employees like Heather have taken part in festivals on World Water Day and throughout the year, reaching hundreds of thousands of children.
“Water is something I think about every day,” Heather concluded. “I’m proud to take part in activities that help focus the world’s attention on it. I encourage everyone to find opportunities to be responsible water stewards every day.”