The power of purpose

By on April 10, 2019

Molly Swan’s goal is to provide cleaner water for people all over the world.

The Lititz resident hopes to move closer to that objective during the April 28 Earth Month Fashion Show for Clean Water at Tellus 360 in Lancaster.

Swan, a Warwick graduate employed at Salon Enso in Lancaster, is the creative director of the show which is a platform to create awareness and raise funds for Charity:Water. Established in 2006, the non-profit organization provides drinking water to people in developing nations and has funded over 35,000 projects in 27 countries, giving 9.5 million people access to clean water.

Swan’s visit to the Republic of Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, inspired her to join Charity:Water’s cause.

“My brother Alex served in the Peace Corps the last two years which gave me the opportunity to visit Charles Hill, Botswana, the village where he served,” she said. “He worked at a primary school where he established the library for the children. I showed up to help and in return my heart was opened.”

Witnessing the residents of the village live a more simple life — filled with joy and thankfulness for what they have — helped broaden her thinking and appreciation of what water means in sparsely populated regions of the world such as Botswana.

“I made many visits to the well in the center of the school field,” she said. “No matter the time of day, children were always surrounding, drinking, cleaning their faces, playing, and celebrating the gift of water.”

She noted that for Botswana, water is so cherished that they named their currency, Pula (meaning rain), after it.

“We turn on our faucets every day and never think about life without clean water,” she said.

Molly Swan (bottom center) poses with children in Botswana. Her visit to the Charles Hill village inspired the Lititz resident to head up the Earth Month Fashion Show for Clean Water on April 28 in Lancaster.

Charity: Water seeks to improve health, boost local economies, empower women and give children more education in countries around the world.

According to the charity’s website, one in 10 people lack access to clean water.

Each donation received at Earth Month Fashion Show for Clean Water at Tellus 360 on April 28 will go towards the goal of raising $5,000. According to Swan, for every $100 that is raised, three people will have continuous access to clean water.

Swan travels and teaches as a certified color educator for Aveda, an organic and natural cosmetics company.

Throughout her career, she’s also worked over 40 fashion shows in New York and London.

Fashions presented at the fundraiser will all come from local businesses with an ethical stance.

One such retailer is a. heather & co. of Lititz, owned by Autumn Whitcraft. As a business owner, she said it was an easy choice to support a cause to long-lasting water and sanitation services.

“Clean water provides community life changes, and the Earth Month Fashion Show is for a great cause,” she said. “I enjoy involvement in projects that bring awareness and support to environmental initiatives.”

Whitcraft’s boutique features new clothing, many of which come from vendors who hand make their products. She notes that several styles that will be showcased from her boutique are handmade in Cambodia from a company that cares about the environment, and sources scraps from mass manufactures to create apparel. Each piece is then hand-signed by the woman who worked on it.

“It’s important to me to carry pieces that inspire and help others,” Whitcraft said. “I’m honored to be a part of this great cause to help raise awareness and contribute towards the Charity Water organization.”

Grace Long, an up and coming model from Lititz, will walk the runway as part of the Earth Month Fashion Show for Clean Water April 28 in Lancaster.

The evening will also include a silent auction, raffle baskets, henna designs by local artist Keisha Finnie and Aveda beauty experiences. Hair and makeup artists will also showcase their looks down the style runway-40 individuals in all will become models that will feature the fashions of area-based businesses.

“Our models are also real people,” Swan said. “They are friends of the cause representing all walks of life. You might see some familiar faces down the runway.”

One such face will be up and coming model Grace Long of Lititz, who’s signed with Main Line Models & Talent of Glen Mills. Long, who turns 16 on Earth Day, will be adorned with clothing provided by Sophie Stargazer of Lancaster.

“With my birthday falling on Earth Day, I’ve always looked for things that I could do to help the environment,” Long said. “This event is very important to me because not only do I have an interest in fashion, but all proceeds and donations are going to charity for a great cause,” she added. “I’m extremely thankful that I have the opportunity to do what I love and give to those in need all in one day.”

“Everyone benefits on this one-our local economy, stylists, and the people of the earth locally and on a larger more global scale, a win for everyone the whole way around,” Swan said.

To purchase tickets, visit

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at or 717-721-4423. 

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