LuminAID’s Give Light, Get Light Program raised enough money in 24 hours through donations and sales on Aug. 30, 2017, to donate and distribute 1,000 of its solar powered lanterns and cellphone chargers to assist people affected by Hurricane Harvey. For every PackLite Nova USB lantern supporters purchased for $29.99 through company’s website that day, LuminAID is sending one to the Houston area. Supporters also had the option to donate $10 to the cause, without purchasing a lantern.
The PackLite Nova USB is an inflatable, water-proof solar lantern that provides up to 72 hours of light and can charge cellphones and other mobile devices. The lanterns provide a mobile light source for first responders' rescue efforts as well as medical professionals at field clinics and families without access to electricity in Houston. The company has also provided their solar lanterns to over 100 developing countries and disaster areas, including Nepal after devastating earthquakes in 2015.
LuminAID partnered with Convoy of Hope, a faith-based charity located in Victoria, TX, to distribute the solar lanterns. Convoy of Hope was already helping distribute essential supplies to people stranded by Harvey across the rural Gulf Coast region and Houston. Additionally, LuminAID and Convoy of Hope are also supplying the Cajun Navy, a citizen group of volunteers using their own boats from Louisiana, with its PackLite 2-in1 phone charger and lantern to help rescue those stranded by Harvey.
Solar has become essential to recovery after natural disasters. It can be deployed in hours, providing much needed energy to help refrigerate medicines and foods as well as charge mobile devices to help connect families after an event. After Hurricane Sandy battered the Atlantic Coast in 2012, millions were left without electricity. Nonprofit solar advocacy group, Solar One, was among those that deployed solar generators allowing people without access to electricity to power lights, small refrigerators and charge cellphones in the wake of the disaster.
"Houston has always been home. Growing up there, I have been inspired by the city's resilience in the face of previous storms and floods and know that the community will come together to get through this one. LuminAID is going to do whatever we can to help those in need of critical supplies, including emergency lighting,” said Andrea Sreshta, co-founder of LuminAID. The company started in the Sreshta family garage in Houston before relocating to Chicago.Tweet