As a teenager and through adulthood, Anton Steinhart, founder of Wines for Humanity dreamt of giving back and considered becoming a missionary in Africa. Life’s circumstances never quite allowed the dream of giving back to come to full fruition, but the seed had been planted, and as we all know, opportunity can arise in unexpected times and places. One day, a mission trip to Bolivia was advertised in a church bulletin. Sure that he had no qualifications for the medical staff that was needed, Anton decided to contact the organization anyway. Solidarity Bridge did, as it turned out, have a place for Anton, helping some of the poorest women of Bolivia learn to use sewing machines and have their products sold in the United States. However, when he came back to America, Anton felt dissatisfied that he had not yet made the kind of difference that he had hoped to simply by selling their products in the USA.
All the while, experiences, and memories were fermenting in his mind: images of homelessness on the streets of New York City, the story of a successful young woman who had spent a year of her childhood living in a car with her mother and all it would have taken to get here into an apartment was 1 month’s rent.
The deaths of people close to him brought on a sense of urgency to do something now began to push Anton towards a new line of thinking. How could he combine years of experience in the wine industry with a passion for helping those in need?
Every day, families lose their homes due to a lack of funds caused by job loss, natural disaster, injury, and illness. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s true. Research has proven that, in addition to the added anxiety and hardship of the situation, waiting to help a family rebuild after they have become homeless actually costs two to three times more than taking action while they still have their home. And so the idea was born to offer private in-home Wine Sampling Events to hosts and their guests, providing an evening of fun and education on how to better appreciate fine wine. By doing so, and by creating the opportunity for guests to select bottles to add to their own personal collections, ample funds can be raised for local charities that assist families who are struggling to make rent and utility payments.
In fact, since its foundation in 2007, Wines for Humanity has made a difference of over $3,500,000 for charity. With an ever- growing team of Wine Advisors and visionary leadership, the number of families that Wines for Humanity can continue to help in the future is limitless! May the story, like a fruitful vine, continue to grow!