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Nancy Economou – Friend of the Filipino/Humanitarian

nance economouNancy Economou is the founder and president of Watts of Love, a global solar lighting nonprofit committed to empowering the poorest of the poor in the darkest regions of the developing world. Nancy founded Watts of Love in 2012 following a trip to the Philippines where she participated in a feeding program and discovered the immediate need for safe and renewable light. While there, she met a young girl whose face had been badly disfigured by a kerosene lamp in a region that had no electricity or doctors. As a mother of five boys, Nancy could not imagine raising her children in such conditions. She returned home and began to work with her husband to develop a solar LED lantern to equip vulnerable families to help raise them out of a continuous cycle of poverty. Nancy has learned that sustainable light is the fastest way out of poverty because it reduces exposure to toxic and deadly kerosene, increases productivity and study time, eliminates large expenditures required to buy expensive fuel for lighting and provides an immediate opportunity to start a micro-business with the cell phone charging function of the lanterns she delivers. Nancy regularly distributes solar lanterns to individuals and families in need in the Philippines, where she works with multiple partner organizations to identify and serve those in greatest need. Watts of Love has operated in the garbage dumps in central Manila and in San Jose, Ambulong Island and Ilin Island in Occidental Mindoro, as well as in Roxas City, Cebu, Tacloban and Bantayan Island. Watts of Love was onsite in Cebu within days of last November’s Super Typhoon Yolanda, providing emergency solar light relief to ravaged hospitals, birthing centers, schools, churches and communities. Millions are still without power in the aftermath of Yolanda, and Nancy has committed to deliver 10,000 solar lanterns to aid those affected by this largest tropical storm to ever make landfall in recorded history. To date, Nancy has distributed more than 4,000 solar lights to the resilient people of the Philippines and continues to fundraise for ongoing disaster relief. Prior to forming Watts of Love, Nancy sold high-end jewelry at Cartier Jewelers in Chicago. To date, Nancy and her family remain active church members at their Lockport, Illinois congregation and Nancy is in the process of planning an open group mission trip to distribute solar lights to the remote communities of Ilin Island this upcoming February.

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