CF Spotlight: Paul McNeill - Mission Man
By: Corporate Communications
June 18, 2018
Paul McNeill – by day a Process Engineer since 2016 at CF’s manufacturing plant in Verdigris, Oklahoma. By nights and weekends, devoted to helping third world children. The 501(c)3 non-profit charity he founded – Mission McNeill – is committed to improving the lives of children in underdeveloped areas by providing them with access to basic needs. Its motto is: if you can’t help 100 children, help one!
Paul’s interest in third world countries started when he was a child. His mother was from Guatemala, where he spent many of his summer vacations. While visiting there he made note of people’s lack of access to running water and sewer systems. He also made trips to Central America in the summers where he made friends with many children who lived in one-room homes with wood-burning stoves. Usually they would spare whatever they had, even if it was only a tortilla. This generosity touched him deeply and motivated him to give back.
Paul wanted to join an international non-profit to do charity projects abroad. All of them required a two-year commitment, but he couldn’t afford that length of time. So he became motivated to start his own projects.
In his first project, he provided three villages in rural Peru with running water that never had it before via gravity flow water systems. Paul and the villagers also eventually built restrooms with flushing toilets for these three villages.
After completing these projects, he figured, “Why stop there?”
Paul created Mission McNeill in 2006, and its reach has grown over the years. The charity relies on a network of local volunteers in rural Peru, Guatemala, Cambodia and now Vietnam. Volunteers come from all walks of life: a Netflix writer and a sportswriter for the Yankees are the latest to join the cause. Local teams scout out possible projects. They conduct on-site visits to meet the children and assess their needs, then define the project scopes.
Paul’s wife, Paola does most of the work during the day and Paul helps out at night and on weekends as needed. They’ve become pretty efficient over time at making decisions since the charity has become part of their lifestyle. Paul says, “To be fair, it’s a lot easier to do than what people may think.”
In 2017 alone, the Mission completed 40 projects helping 6,538 deprived children. According to Paul, “Since its creation, the generosity of their donors, staff and volunteers has helped more than 25,000 people including 14,000-plus children.”
”The Mission has brought water, restrooms and wash stations to villages that have never had them before,” Paul says. “We have provided schools with supplies and upgraded them with new kitchens, dining rooms and study areas. And just as important as the items we deliver is the human connection these projects help foster.”
Mission McNeill recently celebrated its 100th project, which was to provide 35 families access to clean drinking water using a Bio-Sand Water Filter. The people in these areas make less than $5 a day. Paul’s goal in 2019 is to complete 65 or more projects.
See www.missionmcneill.com to see what one man with a vision can inspire.