When Paul retired and began golfing regularly in 2016, he never dreamed it would result in a part-time job that has generated enough money to help tens of thousands of people in Africa and Haiti who need safe water.

When he’s not swinging his clubs, the Ontario man who wishes to remain anonymous is cleaning and re-selling used golf balls, then giving the money he’s earned to Lifewater.

Paul Spitzig 1.jpg 255 KBWith his donations, Paul has paid for 12 new wells plus the repair of an existing well, the installation of a rainwater catchment and storage system, and the purchase of some vital drilling equipment.

“The biggest part of my business is the time it takes to hand-clean the used golf balls, currently about 1,000 hours per year," he says. "I buy used balls from other golfers, golf ranges, and even golf courses – wherever they become available. I encourage others to wash them up as much as possible (less work for me) and I pay more for balls in good clean condition.

“However, every ball must still be hand-cleaned, graded, and sorted to optimize value. I spend about a minute per ball --  trying to save as many as I reasonably can. Even the used golf balls that are scuffed or discoloured have a market. “I can usually sell these at my cost for practice or range balls.”

Paul cleaned and re-sold about 70,000 golf balls last summer. The work can be tiring.

“At times my hands and arms hurt from cleaning golf balls but I think about the people I don’t know and will never meet that will benefit from my donation and your (Lifewater’s) good work. This keeps me going. A lot of my donation really is the time I put into it – the time I have now that I am retired.”

Paul says he has donated to many charities during his lifetime, with a special focus on those providing help in the developing world.

“I like to get the best value for the money I donate, and Lifewater Canada eventually rose to the top of my list. I researched Charity Intelligence Canada and eventually your (Lifewater’s) website.  I believe you offer the best value of any humanitarian charitable organization.”

Paul Spitzig 2.jpg 200 KBThe proud father and grandfather is especially excited by the fact that every dollar he donates to Lifewater provides safe water to a child or adult in Africa for an entire year.

“For most charitable organizations, $1 does not mean much,” Paul says. “But for Lifewater Canada, $1 will provide clean safe drinking water for one person for a whole year*.  For that person (in Africa or Haiti), that dollar is significant.

“Efficiency with low waste is important to me, especially when making a donation. I believe Lifewater provides really good value. I also like the personal touch Lifewater provides by keeping me posted on where my donations go and the projects completed with my help.”

Paul acknowledges that the developing world’s struggle to survive without safe water wasn’t on his mind until he learned about Lifewater.

“When you think about it though, nothing in life is more important than clean, safe drinking water, especially in a developing country. Clean water is where life begins. You have no chance for good health without clean, safe drinking water. Other important needs such as a dependable food supply, access to medical care, or a peaceful place to live don’t mean much if you don’t have ongoing access to safe water.

“Lifewater Canada’s focus is narrow compared to other charitable organizations where accessing clean safe water and sanitation is not always a priority or talked about. Also, with your narrow approach, you have been able to improve your operations each year to maximize efficiency and get good value for each dollar spent.”

* A typical well in Africa or Haiti costs $5,200 and lasts almost eight years before any major repairs necessary. That translates to $650 per year. Each well provides water to about 600 people, so $650 provides water to about 600 people per year. And therefore $1.08 provides water to one person per year.

Every $1 you give provides a child with safe water for a year!






457 Heather Crescent
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5L1
+1 807-622-4848

Facebook Logo    Camera Glyph Icon

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.