After avid runner Ryan Dwornik finished a 20-mile training run for the Columbus Marathon, he was exhausted. But then he thought to run another 3.73 miles (6 kilometers) — the average distance women and children in Africa walk for water that is often unsafe to drink.
“While I’m out enjoying a run, I think about how people in Africa don’t have the same freedom because they’re so consumed by this need for water that it takes over their entire life,” Ryan says. This inspires him to do everything he can to help.
Ryan’s a manufacturing manager for Magna Exteriors — an operating unit of Magna International, one of the largest automotive parts suppliers in the world. When he joined Team World Vision for IRONMAN Wisconsin, he set an ambitious $25,000 fundraising goal for himself. Then the president of Magna Exteriors challenged him to double it. But Ryan knew that he wasn’t going to be successful without some help and large-scale thinking.
Meanwhile, his coworkers Richard Brown (lead employee development coordinator), Emily Zmarzly (materials analyst), Allison Smith (wellness specialist), Gail Berning (ergonomics and wellness coordinator), and Lauren Cool-MacLean (wellness coordinator) were discussing how they could bring together Magna Exteriors’s running community across multiple locations and tie it into a charity.
One thing led to another, and now Magna Exteriors is inviting 20,000 employees at 45 locations in 12 countries to participate in World Vision’s Global 6K for Water on May 6, 2017. They’re also operating host sites at 40 locations around the world.
“We’re coming together as a company to do something bigger than we could do individually,” Ryan says.
Using a customized fundraising website, Magna Exteriors has set a $100,000 fundraising goal, which will provide clean water for 2,000 people in Africa. They are also increasing their impact by encouraging employees’ families to participate and matching employee donations to World Vision through the Global 6K for Water.