Skip to main content

After weeks afloat on Lake Ray Hubbard, fundraiser reaches goal of $2.3 million to help Liberians

Todd Phillips



After spending nearly a month on the waves of Lake Ray Hubbard, Todd Phillips is coming home.
Phillips, 49, set out Oct. 10 with a steep goal: He would live on a barge on the lake until he raised $2.29 million for his nonprofit, The Last Well, which aims to provide clean water for all of Liberia by 2020.
Four weeks later, Phillips’ barge was towed Tuesday morning to the shore of The Harbor, a shopping center in Rockwall, where he was met with cheers from his wife and a team of supporters.


Each night since he set foot on the barge in October, Phillips had done a nightly Facebook Live broadcast. He'd update followers on how he was doing, and his supporters would pledge donations in the comments.
Monday night, as he was getting ready to sign off from the video, a commenter asked him to wait a moment.
Then another commenter jumped in:
“You have done enough. Go home and get a good night’s sleep in your own bed,” Brent Hilliard wrote. “Whatever is left at the close of tonight Hilliard Office Solutions will cover in equal payments over the next fifteen months. Send us the tickets to Liberia.”
And just like that, Phillips reached his goal. He celebrated with a back flip into the water — his first time off the barge in almost a month.
That moment — the total surprise of the huge donation, from someone he didn’t know — will be the memory that will stick with Phillips most from his time on the barge, he said.
Earlier in the night, Hilliard had pledged a donation of 15 wells, at $3,000 each. In total, his company, Hilliard Office Solutions, pledged $180,000 in donations. Before the broadcast, Phillips had been about $270,000 away from his goal.
Hilliard hadn't planned to make the donation that night. His son tagged him in the video Monday night, and later Hilliard texted him: "Hey, what do you think about doing the rest of it and calling it good?"
Hilliard was moved by The Last Well's cause, and he said he could tell from the video that Phillips was ready to go home.
"I just got sucked into the moment and agreed to take care of the balance of it," he said.
Sterling Hilliard, Brent's son and co-owner of Hilliard Office Solutions, said his dad "doesn't know how to go small."
As Phillips stepped off the barge Tuesday morning, he said his finish line was in sight — all Liberians having access to clean water.
"We're going to see the last well drilled in the last village," he said. "It's going to happen. This barge initiative, this Hope Floats barge initiative, got us ever closer to that."
Back on solid ground, Phillips said he wasn’t sure what to do with himself, but he planned to head to the polls and get some sleep. At 6 p.m. Tuesday, The Last Well planned to throw a party at Dodie’s, a restaurant at The Harbor, and everyone was invited, Phillips said.
Phillips’ wife, Julie Phillips, said she looked forward to the new normal of having her husband home again for family dinners and game nights with their children.
During the weeks on the 20- by 22-foot wooden barge, Todd Phillips endured record-setting rainfall that came with powerful storms. The barge was anchored on the lake, where drivers going east on Interstate 30 could see him just before the Village Drive/Horizon Road exit.
On the barge, Phillips had a tent equipped with a cot, supplies and a table for his computer; a generator to keep his devices charged and lights on; a portable toilet, and a stationary bike.
Friends and family would visit him from time to time, getting boat rides to the barge from folks at Chandler’s Landing Marina and taking him meals. To stay hydrated, he drank filtered lake water, using the same equipment his group uses in Liberia.
The Last Well, Phillips' nonprofit, was launched in 2008 by a group at Frontline Church in Washington, D.C., where Phillips was a pastor. The group decided to focus its philanthropy on Liberia when its members asked themselves: What's the most challenging place in the world, and what is that place's greatest need?
Since 2008, the group says, it has provided access to clean water for 1.7 million Liberians. Phillips said people wanting to support the cause can still make a donation at thelastwell.org.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Open Letter to President George Weah

C Liberia Clearly CEO calls on George Weah to take Arts and Culture seriously.
The Honorable George M. Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, I write to endorse your "Pro Poor" agenda. I fully

support your call "to ensured Liberians are not spectators in the

Liberian Economy."    In

order to carry out this "Pro Poor" agenda successfully,

and in order to fully empower the young generation, the Liberian Entertainment Industry must be included. 

Arts and Culture has played a critical role in keeping our young citizens gainfully employed.  From the music industry to film industry to the fashion industry, this generation has benefitted from the employment opportunities arts and culture provides. 
To extend the benefits of arts, culture and tourism, the Liberian government must support and rely on arts and culture as a key input for rebuilding our nation. There are several actions this administration should take to strengthen the role that arts and culture p…

Liberia’s Inauguration Day

By Berenice Mulubah and Kru Cherie
Gbana Pekins and big juesWheelbarrow boys and Market girls Brabees and zogosPenpen boys and penpen girls 
Big boy one and big boy two
Mamie pepper and teacher pepperDecembrians and been-tos Not forgetting Dr. Turn around
All the Maco(s) and Paco (s) That Cerees speaking girl and senate juesMen have come and men have gone Our mothers have given birth to kings and queens 
Stand on Snapper Hill and sing it loud in Kolloque songLet all the good things flowClub beer, cane juice and palm wine tooFrom God to manthe palm wine can’t fini seh 
Tell Ma Hawa to bring the chewThe GB, Fufu and dumb boy tooPalmbutter, torbugee, Cassavaleaf can’t fini seh  
You see what God Nah doPapa God has brought us throughFrom many years of heartaches and shameWiping our tears away
Over the years we lost our waySpilling our own blood from pole to poleSwimming in hurts and painFor so many years things remained the same
Now the time has come To soak our feet in the sand of Sun Set beachSo…

Liberian Superstar Bucky Raw Is Currently Being Deported From The USA To Liberia

Liberian superstar, Bucky Raw who has been in jail since October 2017, for domestic violence charges, is currently being deported to his homeland, Liberia, for violating his parole, according to inside source.  The artist released a heartwarming letter to his fans few days ago, assuring them that he will be back very soon. Unfortunately, his return won't be in the manner expected.  To be continued.......