Victoria Harrison

In 2004, New York club promoter Scott Harrison had reached a place of despair in the midst of his hedonistic and self-indulgent lifestyle. Desperate to, in his own words, “revive a lost Christian faith with action,” Harrison volunteered as a photojournalist aboard a humanitarian Mercy ship bound for Liberia, West Africa. After being exposed to the overwhelming human need in Africa, Harrison never returned to his former life of pleasure-seeking. Set ablaze with a desire to help people, Harrison returned to the U.S. on a mission. He used his 31st birthday party in 2006 as the fundraising kickoff for his newly formed non-profit, charity: water. The mission of charity: water is simply to “bring safe and clean drinking water to people in developing nations.”

Russian-born Viktoria Alexeeva was also in New York in the mid 2000s, finding her way in the world. Encouraged to make something of herself by her “starving artist” parents, Alexeeva began school for graphic design at New York’s acclaimed School of Visual Arts. However, she dropped out of college after landing a job at Süperfad, an NYC design house. While working on projects for top companies such as Nike and Honda, Alexeeva read a quote by musician and poet David Berman that would soon change the course of her life. Berman said, “The same design that fuels mass overconsumption has the power to repair the world.” Alexeeva, gripped by Berman’s words, was awakened to the fact that she could use her skill as a graphic artist to further the cause of the less fortunate.  After some searching, Alexeeva ended up volunteering her design talents to none other than charity: water. Within 6 months, , she was hired by Scott Harrison in 2007 as brand manager and designer for the organization.

Before long, Alexeeva and Harrison’s mutual love for social activism blossomed into a love for each other, and the two were married on September 26, 2009. The now Mrs. Harrison has experienced overwhelming success in her role as Creative Director for charity: water. In a 2010 video interview with Shatterbox, Harrison said, “I’m just really proud of the fact that we are pulling off campaigns that are raising millions of dollars and that we’re kind of creating them on the fly.” Victoria’s excellence in her craft has contributed immeasurably to the success of charity: water. In telling compelling and captivating stories through visual arts under Victoria’s leadership, charity: water connects the human need to the human resource in a way this is both innovative and impactful. As of January 15th, 2012, charity: water had raised over 40 million dollars and funded 6,185 “freshwater projects” in developing nations around the globe such as Nepal, Cambodia and (naturally) Liberia.

The Harrisons attend church at Hillsong NYC, and attribute their Christian faith to be the fuel that propels their philanthropic mission. And, if it has anything to do with Scott and Victoria, the present success of charity: water is only the beginning. Says Victoria, “We’re not gonna (sic) stop until we give everyone on the planet clean and safe drinking water.”

You can follow Viktoria Harrison on Twitter @vikharrison or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/charitywater. To learn more about the organization, please visit:
www.charitywater.org.

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