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Downers Grove charity Watts of Love brings solar lights to Haiti

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 4:20 p.m. CDT

DOWNERS GROVE –Downers Grove-based charity Watts of Love, which brings renewable solar lighting to those without access to electricity, has extended its outreach efforts to Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

According to the organization, only 12 percent of the country's population has regular legal access to electricity. Working through charitable organization GLOW Haiti, Watts of Love delivered solar LED lights to two orphanages and 70 teachers, which will help more than 2,500 children.

The Haitian light drop follows Watts of Love’s first light drop this spring in the Philippines. At that time, the charity distributed 1,000 solar LED lanterns to the 35,000 inhabitants of Ilin Island, who live in bamboo huts and have no electricity, potable water, sewers or roads.

The lights provided by the organization last up to 100 hours on a single charge on the lowest output setting. The highest setting offers the equivalent of 500 lumens, or the brightness of a 40 watt light bulb. That brightness is roughly 10 times brighter than a kerosene lamp.

The Watts of Love solar LED lanterns also have a port for charging cell phones.  Rural Haitians often spend 2 gourdes a day to charge their cell phones at charging stations, a huge expense in a country where the annual per capita income is roughly 28,400 gourdes or $700, according to the World Bank.

Watts of Love accepts private donations.

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