Would you consider giving up your birthday (or Christmas presents) for clean water?
Almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water. Unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all disease and kill more people than all forms of violence, including war. Would you be willing to work to change that?
I have to confess that until recently I really had not thought about water that much. I drink it daily from the tap, shower in it, use it to rinse after I brush my teeth, and grab a bottle of it every time I go on a bike ride. I guess I take it for granted. Last summer though, a main pipe supplying much of eastern Massachusetts (and most of Boston) broke, contaminating the water supply, leaving almost a million of us without safe water for almost a week. That got my attention.
In the western world, we face concerns about our stewardship of one of the world’s most precious resources. There’s talk of shortages, evidence of reservoirs and aquifers drying up, and of course, plenty of people who simply don’t care. But forget about us.
Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk miles to find water, (not to mention Gatorade, soft drinks, etc). We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are a billion people on the planet who don’t have clean water.
It’s hard to imagine what a billion people looks like really, but one in eight might be easier to grasp. One in eight people in our world do not have access to the most basic of human needs.
I have recently partnered with www.charitywater.org. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. They use 100% of public donations to directly fund sustainable water solutions in areas of greatest need. The vision is simple, yet ambitious. Just $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years.
Take a few moments to get educated about what you could do to make a difference for someone At Charity Water, they’d like to introduce you to a few of those billion people. They are very real, and they need our help. They didn’t choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp. And we didn’t choose to be born in a country where even the homeless have access to clean water and a toilet.
I invite you to put yourself in their shoes. Follow them on their daily journey. Carry 80 pounds of water in yellow fuel cans as you go to class. Dig with their children in sand for water. Line up at a well and wait 8 hours for a turn, hoping the supply will not run out before you get to the tap.
Now, make a decision to help. At Charity Water, we are not offering grand solutions and billion dollar schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. For about $20 a person, we know how to help millions. On your next birthday (or at Christmas), ask your friends and family who are inclined to give you a present to instead make an investment in clean water…to fund water projects for communities in need.
Join me as a charity: water partner. Volunteer. Get your school involved. Fundraise for a well. Let’s give people clean water and start changing lives. Serve globally. Start by helping one.
Love is a verb,