Tata & Howard Sponsors Virtual 5K to Raise Funds for Navajo Water Project

Some T&H team members chose to run the race together on August 16, 2017

This summer, Tata & Howard organized and sponsored a virtual 5K to raise funds for the Navajo Water Project. Runners were able to complete the race in their own time and space between July 1 and August 31, 2017, after which they received a custom-designed medal featuring a Navajo dragonfly, the symbol of water to the Navajo people. Over $1,000 was raised, all of which benefitted the Navajo Water Project in an effort to bring safe, clean drinking water to the thousands of residents of Navajo Nation who do not have running water or a toilet in their homes.

A group of runners from central MA gathered together to run the Navajo Water Project 5K on August 26, 2017

Some Tata & Howard runners decided to participate in the 5K together after work on August 16, while the Wormtown Milers — a central Massachusetts running team headed up by Marketing Communications Manager Heidi White —took to the streets of Worcester, MA to run the 5K together on August 26. Both live events were a lot of fun. In addition, virtual runners from as far away as Arizona participated in this philanthropic event.

Navajo Water Project Background:

Just like African women and children who leave their homes each day to fetch unimproved water that is miles away, thousands of Navajo also make a daily journey in search of water. For the few fortunate who own cars, they may drive to find water, although the gas expense is almost unbearable for many. For those without vehicles, they must walk miles to find water, sometimes getting the water from livestock troughs that are rife with bacteria and contaminants, other times getting water from unregulated wells and stock ponds.


Not only do the Navajo have to travel for miles to find water, but the water they do find is often contaminated. As a result of the heavy mining that took place in the area during the nuclear arms race following World War II, much of the water found in Navajo Nation is heavily contaminated with uranium or other radioactive particles.

Chris Halter, director of Saint Bonaventure Indian Mission, has done work in some of the poorest parts of Africa and Latin America. Working in Navajo Nation for the past eight years, he notes, “It’s a third world country in the middle of the wealthiest country in the world.”

Many Navajo can’t get enough clean water, creating a cycle of poverty that limits health, happiness, educational opportunity, and economic security. Of the 174,000 residents of Navajo Nation, 40% do not have running water. The goal of the Navajo Water Project is to bring safe, clean drinking water to every household in Navajo Nation.




Celebrating the Holidays Through Giving

The Holiday season means many different things for people. Whether it’s getting everyone the perfect gift, spending time with family, or preparing favorite foods for friends, the holidays are a time of giving. Our family here at Tata & Howard takes holiday giving to heart. We understand how important philanthropy is to both our local and global community. For this special time of year, we are looking at some of the most charitable and full-hearted organizations we’ve had the honor to support.

DARE Family Services

T&H’s holiday DARE Giving Tree

Since 1964, DARE Family Services has been committed to improving the lives of children who have been abused or neglected. By providing a family-based setting, they give children the opportunity to recover and live healthy, happy lives. Every holiday season, DARE Family Services reaches out to communities for gift donations to help kids experience a memorable holiday – in many cases, for the first time in their lives. At Tata & Howard, our employee-owners take DARE’s mission to heart and bring gifts to put under our DARE Giving Tree for children in need. Fortunately, we are one of many organizations and individuals who support DARE and their determination to better the lives of disadvantaged and neglected children. They help thousands of kids every year and we thank them for their generosity.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

T&H’s Heidi White raised over $3,000 for DFCI this fall through their “Run Any Race” program.”

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, along with the Jimmy Fund, is home to groundbreaking cancer discoveries. They are one of the greatest examples of a philanthropic organization working for a worthy cause – curing cancer. There are seemingly endless ways Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund raise money and resources to give hope to families affected by cancer, especially during the holidays. Tata & Howard is a proud supporter of Dana-Farber and donated $5,300 towards cancer research this past November, and donated another $1,500 this week in lieu of sending printed holiday cards to clients and friends. Some of our employee-owners are doing their own part to help them out as well. Our Marketing Communications Manager Heidi White participated in their “Run Any Race” program and raised over $3,000 by running Ragnar’s Reach the Beach in New Hampshire this past September. Also, T&H Engineer Molly Coughlin is currently training for the 2017 Boston Marathon to raise money for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund. Her personal goal is to raise $15,850 and we are all cheering her on. Go Molly!

Water For Peoplepict_grid7

Over 1.8 billion people globally lack access to safe drinking water, and Water For People is looking to change that by committing to provide long-lasting water and sanitation infrastructure for communities in need. They operate in nine countries and have helped over four million people live better lives by providing access to clean water. To make this happen, Water For People works with communities, governments, and business owners to ensure reliable, safe water for future generations. In support of their passion for clean water, many employee-owners at Tata & Howard contribute to Water For People through automatic bi-weekly payroll deductions, which Tata & Howard matches dollar for dollar. In this way, we are able to do our part to realize Water For People’s mission of clean water for everyone, forever.

The Navajo Water Project

This man keeps his water in barrels by his outhouse. Water and sanitation always go hand in hand. About 40% of Navajo don’t have a sink or a toilet at home. Courtesy of navajowaterproject.org.

Speaking of clean water for everyone, the Navajo Water Project is an amazing organization that seeks to solve a little-known water problem. Of the nearly 200,000 Navajo population right here in America, 40% do not have running water – which has created a cycle of poverty that limits health, education, and economic security. As a subsidiary of DIGDEEP and primarily funded through private donors, the Navajo Water Project works with communities in Navajo Nation to install systems that bring running water and electricity into homes. The water is delivered via truck and safely stored in large cisterns, from which it is pumped into a sink and shower inside the home. The organization also installs solar energy systems to power the pumps and lights inside. With their determination and adequate funding, The Navajo Water Project expects to install home water systems in every Navajo home in need by 2018. Since we learned of the plight of the Navajo people in 2015, Tata & Howard has actively supported the Navajo Water Project. In 2017, which is our 25th anniversary year, we are organizing a national virtual 5K to raise money for this incredible organization. Participants will receive a beautiful medal and 100% of the cost of registration will go directly to the Navajo Water Project. Stay tuned for details of this exciting event!

The holiday season is the perfect time to give to others and to help the community, both locally and globally. Even the smallest gesture of generosity helps others in significant ways. And the best gift a person can receive is hope — and that is exactly what DARE Family Services, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Navajo Water Project, and Water for People are all about. We here at Tata & Howard encourage everyone to give to someone in need and celebrate generosity this holiday season. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

World Water Day 2016 — Better Water, Better Jobs

World Water Day falls on March 22 each year, and serves as a time to celebrate all things water. It is also a time to acknowledge water’s pivotal role in our daily lives, to recognize the global population that still lacks access to adequate water supply and sanitation, and to focus on sustainability so that we can protect our world’s most precious resource. While most of us recognize that water is essential to life, many of us don’t realize that water is just as essential to our economy and is responsible for employing half of the world’s workers, or 1.5 billion people. And while half of the world’s workers are directly employed in water-related sectors, a majority of the other half are also reliant upon water for their jobs. The theme for World Water Day 2016 — Better Water, Better Jobs — reflects this reality.

Fetching-water-statisticsFirst, let’s look at some facts:

  • African_girl_fetching_water_with_pitcher663 million people — or 1 in 9 — don’t have access to safe drinking water.
  • The average American uses about 100 gallons of water a day, which is 10 times more water than the average rural resident in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In Africa and Asia, women and girls walk an average of 3.5 miles a day carrying water that weighs more than 40 pounds, or the equivalent of carrying two cases of soda.
  • Each day people, mostly women and girls, spend 125 million hours collecting water.
  • 66 children die from diarrhea from water-related disease every hour.
  • Globally, one third of all schools lack access to sanitation and drinkable water.
  • 160 million children suffer from malnutrition, which has lifelong impacts on health, education, and economic potential; 50% of this malnutrition is directly linked to lack of clean water and sanitation.

And thankfully, some really good news:

  • 2.6 billion people have gained access to improved drinking water since 1990.
  • 2.1 billion people have gained access to an improved sanitation facility since 1990.
  • Over 90% of the world’s population now has access to an improved water source.
  • Since 2008, more than $27 million federal dollars have been invested in projects to build up water distribution systems in Navajo Nation, which will will allow about 800 homes to benefit from new pipe systems and improve water quality for about 1,000 homes that already have running water.

Quality and availability of water have a direct effect on peoples’ lives, including workers. Yet millions of people who work in water are not recognized or protected by basic labor rights, and do not have an adequate clean water supply. In fact, over 340,000 of the world’s workers die each year from lack of clean water and sanitation. Many of the world’s workers, including farmers and fishermen, depend wholly on water for their livelihoods. Also, women and girls in developing countries are typically responsible for fetching water, often from miles away, which leaves them no time for education or employment. The adequate quantity and quality of water can significantly change workers’ lives and livelihoods, and can even improve societies and economies.

MaxGilliam_survey_private_dam_LitchfieldCounty_CT_1015Water is also an integral part of our jobs here at Tata & Howard. As a water engineering firm, we strive to improve our water supply and to create a safe, sustainable future for generations to come. As we have recently seen in communities like Flint, Michigan and Sebring, Ohio, unsafe water directly affects the health of both residents and the economy. We accept that it is our diligent duty to provide the most efficient and meticulous engineering service to municipalities and water companies to safeguard our nation’s water supply and the health of residents. We work cohesively as a team to foster innovation and to provide a series of checks and balances, while each and every project on which we work is technically reviewed by a senior engineer not associated with the project.

In addition to our daily work, we actively support numerous water organizations, including Water For People, whose goal is to bring a clean, sustainable drinking water supply to everyone forever, and the Navajo Water Project, which works diligently to bring safe, accessible drinking water to the residents of Navajo Nation. It is our belief that safe water is a basic human right, and through our work and our works, we actively sustain that belief.

matT_DAMON_WATEROn World Water Day, we invite you to join the 2016 campaign to get informed, engaged, and take action. There are many ways to get involved. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website to learn about water, or make a donation to a reputable water charity. Water For People, Charity: water, Navajo Water Project, and Matt Damon’s water.org are all water charities with superior ratings. You can also contribute on social media by using the hashtags #WaterIsWork and #WorldWaterDay. Together we can help the people of the world to have an adequate supply of safe drinking water, improving the health of workers, the economy, and our environment.

T&H donation helps bring water to Navajo Nation

T&H donation helps bring water to Navajo Nation

Water cistern purchased on behalf of clients

This water cistern, donated by Tata & Howard on behalf of its clients, will help provide safe, clean drinking water to a family living in Navajo Nation
This water cistern, donated by Tata & Howard on behalf of its clients, will help provide safe, clean drinking water to a family living in Navajo Nation

Tata & Howard sponsored a water cistern through Navajo Water Project, a subsidiary of DIGDEEP that works to provide safe, accessible drinking water to Native Americans living in Navajo Nation. The 1,200-gallon cistern provides the necessary water storage for a full running water system in one Navajo American Home. The gift was purchased in honor of Tata & Howard’s clients in lieu of holiday cards.

“The western border of Navajo Nation is only 25 miles from Tata & Howard’s Flagstaff, Arizona office, so it really hit close to home when we learned of the Navajo Nation water crisis,” stated Shira S. McWaters, P.E., Manager of the firm’s Flagstaff office. “We as a company have historically supported and will continue to support Water For People, a charity that works to bring clean and sustainable water to developing nations, through automatic payroll deductions as well as corporate sponsorship of benefit events such as silent auctions and golf tournaments. However, in light of the water poverty facing those living right here on American soil, we decided to also focus our efforts on Navajo Nation this year.”

Tata & Howard and its employee-owners had made a previous donation of $2,235 to Navajo Water Project, which is the only water charity that serves people living in the United States, in September.
“The fact that there are people living right here in the United States who lack access to safe, clean drinking water is deplorable,” added Joel S. Loitherstein, P.E., LSP, Vice President of Tata & Howard. “We are proud to support Navajo Water Project in their efforts to bring a sustainable water supply to all who live in Navajo Nation, and are thrilled to do so in honor of our clients.”

In addition to the donation of the water cistern to Navajo Water Project, Tata & Howard employee-owners donated handpicked gifts to foster children in Massachusetts through DARE Family Services, a non-profit whose primary mission is to find, train, and support loving homes that will help children become resilient and overcome the trauma of serious abuse and neglect, and made monetary donations to the Mayor’s Charity Relief Fund of Marlborough, MA, which helps residents of the city in need of financial assistance at times of crisis or hardship. Tata & Howard’s corporate office is located in Marlborough.

National Philanthropy Day 2015

NPD logoIn 1986, United States President Ronald Reagan designated November 15 as National Philanthropy Day, a day which celebrates giving, volunteering, and charitable works, and the impact that philanthropy makes on our society. National Philanthropy Day celebrates philanthropy, which etymologically translates to “love of humanity,” each November 15 in an effort to turn the word into action and to recognize the change that word has brought to our local and global communities.

National Philanthropy Day is now overseen by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, who entreat people to follow the five Ps of giving in order to make the most impact:

  1. Passionate. With literally thousands of charities and causes from which to choose, it is critical to support a select few about which you are passionate. The more passionate you are about a cause, the more likely you are to fully invest in it, including not just money, but time.
  1. Proactive. Once you’ve determined which type of cause you would like to support, proactively find a charity dedicated to the cause.
  1. Prepare. Do your research. Not all charities are created equal, and you want to be sure that the charity you are supporting is fiscally responsible and well managed. Both Charity Navigator and Charity Watch are excellent resources for investigating all aspects of charity ratings.
  1. Plan. Create a plan of giving action so that you hold yourself to a certain dollar and time amount. Charities typically receive most of their donations in the last quarter of the year, while struggling in the spring and summer. Find out what makes the most sense for the charity you have chosen to support and put a specific plan in place — and stick to it.
  1. Powerful. Now that you are ready and committed to give, ensure that your donation is powerful; meaning give the most you can, in both time and money.

water_for_peopleAt Tata & Howard, we are passionate about improving the environment in which we live through our work — and works. As a corporation, we have followed the five Ps of giving and have partnered with select charities in an effort to support them fully. Water For People has been Tata & Howard’s charity of choice since 2005, with employee-owners donating directly from their paychecks and the company matching 100% of every dollar donated. In addition, Tata & Howard sponsors the CTAWWA Water for People Golf Tournament in the fall. Water For People strives to provide safe, sustainable drinking water for everyone, forever. According to Water for People, they exist for one purpose, and it’s as simple as their name: they want all people to have safe, continuous water, and when they do, their job will be done.

navajo water project
Tata & Howard employee-owners helped support the Navajo Water Project

This past year, Tata & Howard selected another key charity to support after learning of the plight of the Navajo on American soil. This year, Tata & Howard donated $2,235 to Navajo Water Project, a subsidiary of DIGDEEP that works to provide safe, accessible drinking water to Native Americans living in Navajo Nation. While there are dozens of water charities supporting developing countries, Navajo Water Project is the only water charity that serves people living in the United States.

Each Thanksgiving season, Tata & Howard employee-owners participate in a food drive for the Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB). WCFB is central Massachusetts’ leading anti-hunger organization distributing over five million pounds of donated food and grocery product in partnership with food donors, financial supporters, and volunteers. This year, Tata & Howard employee-owners collected and donated over 400 pounds of food for WCFB during the month of October.

dare_family_servicesEvery December, Tata & Howard partners with Dare Family Services to provide personalized gifts to disadvantaged children. Employee-owners choose wish ornaments from a giving tree and purchase the gifts for which the children ask. All unclaimed wishes are purchased by Tata & Howard’s Philanthropy Committee — a robust, in-house committee that raises and distributes funds to charities — ensuring that every child receives his or her requested gifts. Dare Family Services’ primary mission is to find, train, and support loving homes that will help children become resilient and overcome the trauma of serious abuse and neglect. Every child is given a life, education, and a road to normal adulthood.

In addition to Tata & Howard’s partner charities, employee-owners support their own chosen charities, often with support from the company’s Philanthropy Committee. Employee-owners have supported such worthy causes as Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Camp Sunshine, and Livestrong. And Tata & Howard employee-owners don’t just write checks — they also donate significant amounts of time, like coaching SOMA, running for the Jimmy Fund, competing in the Tough Mudder Challenge to support Wounded Warrior Project, riding in the PanMass Challenge, training dogs for NEADS/Dogs for Deaf, and skiing for hear ME now.

hands_holding_globeNational Philanthropy Day is a grassroots movement to increase public awareness of the importance of philanthropy, and to provide information on giving and volunteering so that people can practice efficient philanthropy. It is also the ideal day to reassess charitable giving, from both a corporate and individual level. As John Rockefeller stated, “Think of giving not only as a duty but as a privilege.” At Tata & Howard, we feel truly privileged to be able to support our corporate and individual causes, and believe that each and every act of charity has significant impact that helps to make the world a better place. Happy National Philanthropy Day!

Tata & Howard donates over $2,000 to Navajo Water Project

Tata & Howard donates over $2,000 to Navajo Water Project

Charity provides clean, accessible drinking water to Native Americans living in Navajo Nation

navajo water project
Tata & Howard employee-owners from the Marlborough, MA corporate office helped support the Navajo Water Project

Tata & Howard donated $2,235 to Navajo Water Project, a subsidiary of DIGDEEP that works to provide safe, accessible drinking water to Native Americans living in Navajo Nation. Employee-owners donated $1,235 and the company matched $1,000.

“When we learned of the extreme water poverty in which people right here within the borders of the United States live, we knew we had to act,” stated Donald J. Tata, P.E., President of Tata & Howard. “The company asked employee-owners to make donations to Navajo Water Project and agreed to match up to $1,000. We weren’t at all surprised when the good people here easily surpassed that number.”

“Having worked on several projects in Arizona, I have seen first-hand the difficult and, frankly, heartbreaking conditions in which some Navajo live,” added Jack E. O’Connell, P.E., LEED AP, Senior Vice President of Tata & Howard. “Bringing safe, clean, and accessible drinking water to Navajo Nation should be an urgent priority of the American people, and we here at Tata & Howard are more than happy to do our part.”

While there are dozens of water charities supporting developing countries, including Tata & Howard’s own charity of choice Water For People, Navajo Water Project is the only water charity that serves people living in the United States. For more information on the Navajo Nation water crisis, please click here.

About DIGDEEP Water

Launched in 2011 by international human rights lawyer George McGraw, DIGDEEP Water is changing the way people think about water. By designing water access projects that go hand-in-hand with its education and advocacy programs, DIGDEEP focuses on solving water poverty in marginalized communities at home and abroad while promoting better water consumption and conservation practices globally. DIGDEEP collaborates with local communities in order to find appropriate, sustainable solutions to water poverty in places like South Sudan, Cameroon, and the United States. Since each community is unique, each one of DIGDEEP’s projects is also unique. 100% of all donations support projects. To learn more, visit www.digdeepwater.org.