KC company uses cell phone cases for global good - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Thirsty for change: KC company uses cell phone cases for global good

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For Dawn Taylor and Christina Eldridge, their cell phone cases have a deeper purpose than scratch and shock protection. For Dawn Taylor and Christina Eldridge, their cell phone cases have a deeper purpose than scratch and shock protection.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Two local women have come up with a unique way to bring clean water to developing countries, and everyone who owns an iPhone can help lend a hand.

For those that own the smartphone, they have probably spent a lot of time picking out that perfect case.

Maybe they want to protect it or just make a statement, but now that cell phone case can help end poverty in developing countries.

For Dawn Taylor and Christina Eldridge, their cell phone cases have a deeper purpose than scratch and shock protection.

"We say that we are goods for good," Eldridge said.

The women are selling the cases as part of their new online company, Red Dirt, inspired by their time volunteering in Africa.

"In every village road, was this very vivid red dirt. You end up bringing it home in your suitcase. It gets into your socks, your clothes, your fingernails, a vivid reminder for us of our time there," Taylor said.

Eventually the red dirt washed away, but what their experiences left a permanent impression.

"We immediately recognized that not everyone lives the way we do," Taylor said.

They believe access to clean drinking water is a game changer for Africa and other developing nations.

"You can imagine that girls are maybe spending hours a day trying to fetch water, that means that they are not in school. They are not getting an education. If you're not getting an education, you understand the ripple effect," Taylor said.

Red Dirt teamed up with the Kansas City-based nonprofit, Water.org, which helps get clean drinking water to people all over the world.

A case costs $37, and $5 goes to the cause.

"Five dollars can provide someone in a developing country clean water for one year. If you think of the multiplier effect of five customers or one customer buying five cases, that is $25 - $25 can provide clean water for a lifetime for one person," Taylor said.

Each iPhone and Samsung Galaxy cover tells a unique story, like one case created by a boy living in a Uganda orphanage.

Even well-known local artists, like Mike Savage and Lisa Lala, are lending their designs on that most seen accessory, hoping to bring attention to a simple cause that could make a big difference.

"I helped get clean water for someone just by buying this phone case," Eldridge said.

And when someone buys a cell phone case from Red Dirt, it comes in a bag sewn together by a tailor in Mali, Africa. Eldridge and Taylor said the tailor is now able to buy his family food and go to the doctor.

To buy a case visit RedDirtShop.com.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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