Watts of Love sends LED lanterns to typhoon-ravaged Phillippines

November 17, 2013, 5:10 PM EST

Watts of Love sends LED lanterns to typhoon-ravaged Philippines

Chicago wedding photographer aids in WATTS OF LOVE relief efforts 

Recently, I had the chance to learn about WATTS OF LOVE from local Chicago wedding photographer Kevin Kuster when we were on set for a photoshoot for Wedding Guide Chicago.    Watts of Love, a Chicago area charity that started just over a year ago, has a mission to supply renewable solar lighting to the 1.3 billion people living without basic access to electricity. Recently, Watts of Love raised funds and delivered 1,000 solar lantern kits to families  on the island of llin. These kits are a sustainable, safe, and reliable sources of lighting, helping to eradicate toxic kerosene emissions thus preventing respiratory diseases, fires, and saving money for  families who will no longer need to use an average 28% of their income on kerosene.

Watts of Love also partnered with Kevin's company, Creative Images, where Kevin photographed and printed images for 40 couples who were to be married on the llian Island, Phillipines as Watts of Love also aided couples in their desire to marry (without out the means to afford it). According to Kevin, “Most couples living in third world countries are unable to pay the cost of a state wedding license, nice clothing, shoes, wedding rings and the often “culturally expected” post wedding feast. In addition most of these couples have never been photographed”

Unfortunately, this very area is one of the many areas effected by the typhoon. “So many Filipinos lived without electricity and in desperate poverty even before Typhoon Haiyan, and  now what little they had has been swept away,” says Watts of Love Founder Nancy Economou.

“While the scale of destruction is enormous and it will take years to rebuild, we can make a real impact very quickly by providing lights. Solar lights offer a critical path for first, surviving, and then, improving lives.” To help Filipinos devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, Watts of Love has launched an emergency disaster relief campaign to deliver as many as 10,000 solar LED lanterns to the Philippines.

In an interview on the Chicago suburb radio station Nancy explains  “We can’t underestimate the power of light, as people are looking for their families, in need of communicating with loved ones on the mainland, to continue searching for their loved ones after nightfall, and to aid rescue workers and  medical teams in their effort as well.“ Our lanterns (which are also water resistant), can be set it in the sun during the day and will stay lit for 130 continual hours without needing additional power.

The Watts of Love mission is to supply 10,000 lanterns in the next 30 days to aid in the relief efforts.

donation of $40 will cover the cost of one disaster relief light and power kit with a built-in cell phone charger and radio charger. Kevin and another volunteer are personally carrying Watt lanterns over to the Phillipines now just to make sure they get into the hands of those who need them as quickly as possible. Visit to www.wattsoflove.org learn more or donate and spread the word online by sharing our post or links from the Watts of Love social media sites with your readers.