Our Roth Everyday Hero: Juli Klein
Most of us use our vacation time to travel. Juli Klein uses her vacation time to travel for a cause. Every year, Juli goes on a mission trip with fellow church members, partnering with a variety of national nonprofits and volunteering for different causes. Just two years ago, she spent her vacation time doing manual labor to provide housing in Mexicali.
This year, Juli and her church group spent two weeks in the Philippines, volunteering with Reefs for Life, an environmental nonprofit looking to foster a more sustainable community.
Sewer systems in the Philippines are overflowing and feeding trash into the ocean. It’s affecting both seaside communities and marine wildlife—particularly coral reefs, which are especially vulnerable to ocean contamination.
Reefs for Life uses Biorock restoration technology to install solar-powered artificial reef structures that can revitalize underwater life. However, an essential component to make the efforts work is educating the local community. The nonprofit partners with schools to educate youth and create community awareness. During her mission trip, Juli visited several elementary schools to provide training, arts & crafts, and demonstrations. She says the kids loved it!
One of her favorite demonstrations was the eco-brick, which shows how trash can be reused in pragmatic ways. They fill a 2-liter bottle with trash, putting in more and more trash until it’s packed so tightly that it can be used as a building brick. While a bottle isn’t the ideal shape for a brick, the demonstration does exemplify a creative solution to an ongoing problem—reusing and appropriating items that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill or in the ocean.
Additionally, Juli and her group donated Watts of Love packs. These are valuable electrical sources for villages that provide essential light and work as a radio source. They got to hand these out personally to families and Juli says it was the most fulfilling part of the mission trip.
Juli’s giving spirit is an inspiration to us all. She is genuinely excited about getting out of her comfort zone and battling for causes she believes in. We are proud to call her a Roth Everyday Hero and provide Reefs for Life with a $500 donation to continue protecting and restoring coral reefs.