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Megan Birney
2018

Megan Birney

The David Chow Humanitarian 2018 Award

Megan Birney, President of Unite to Light. Unite to Light, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity based in Santa Barbara, California, which provides safe, inexpensive, long-lasting solar powered lighting to be used for studying, reading, medical procedures, and other purposes by individuals and families in developing countries all over the world.

In countries where their lights replace expensive and dangerous fuels, such as kerosene, Unite to Light ask recipients to buy their light, using a portion of their early savings. This approach maximizes the number of lights which can be made available. To the extent they are able, Unite to Light also provide lights below cost or as a donation in areas where it would be a hardship to pay for some or all of the cost of the lights. Over 78,000 lights have been sent to 65 countries on 4 continents and the organization has distribution relationships with Rotary International, the Peace Corps and Direct Relief International, as well as a growing number of relationships with smaller distribution.