at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

A Glass of Gratitude

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. As we sit around the table with our turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes, many of us can think of a thousand things to be thankful for -- but that clear liquid in your glass is one great gift that is often overlooked.

Water. Clean water.

Did you know that one in 10 people lack access to clean and safe water? Imagine serving Thanksgiving dinner with water that looked like the glass on the left instead of the glass on the right.

For 663 million people, dirty water is a reality. They don't have to imagine it. It is life. Everyday. Not only that, but for many people, collecting this unclean water involves miles of walking each day, while carrying heavy jugs, then carefully selecting how to use their limited water supply.

But what if there was something we could do to change that?

Tom and I have been talking for a while now about what we can do to help others and what will make the biggest impact. Tom was the one who first brought up clean water. It's such a basic need that it's often overlooked, but it is essential to life itself. Several years ago, we chose a few charities that were focused on providing access to clean, safe water and began supporting them with some year-end donations. One of the charities stuck out to us -- an organization called charity: water. The first thing that stuck out was that they have private donors covering their operating costs, allowing 100% of public donations go into the field to bring people access to clean water. That's pretty cool. Secondly, we noted that they had an opportunity to sponsor an entire water project -- bringing clean water to a whole community. How cool would it be, we thought, to some day be able to do that?!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor
Photo taken from the charity: water Facebook page

Well, time went on and we found ourselves in a position this year to actually make it happen. By October, we had saved up enough money to sponsor a project. We contacted charity: water to find out where they would be working next year, and they actually let us pick the region where we want our funding to go. We received several PDFs explaining the different water solutions and regions where they plan to work in 2019. It was so hard to choose, but in the end we decided to support a project that will be based in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region of Ethiopia. We chose this project for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the areas they are focused on are very remote and thus not likely to be a priority to governments or other organizations. Secondly, this project just sounded interesting. Many times, bringing people a clean water source involves building a well -- either through hand digging, or drills where the water table is far below the surface. Other times it involves rainwater collection or BioSand filters. In the case of the community we will be sponsoring, there is actually a mountain spring that they will be using as the water source, piping it down the mountainside and installing a tap hand in a convenient location for the local community. It is estimated that this may provide clean water for about 400 people!

We will get updates several times throughout the project so we can learn how things are progressing. The project will begin with sanitation and hygiene training. They make sure that the community is involved and invested in making this water source a long-term and sustainable solution. The whole process may take a year and a half to two years, and we'll end up getting GPS coordinates and photos of where the water solution was installed.  I will share updates here as we get them, and I am also going to try to provide regular posts here as I learn more about and contemplate the global water crisis. 

Are you intrigued? Curious how you can help? I’d encourage you to check out the work that charity: water is doing. Just $30 can provide clean water to someone. Simply spreading awareness of the magnitude of the global water crisis is also crucial. Many of us are so far removed from the problem that we’re simply ignorant of the challenges people like us face every day. So I invite you to join us in spreading the word of this great need and to join us in the joy of giving the gift of clean water!

This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for my own glass of clean water. I am also grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the solution for others, and grateful to charity: water and their local partners who work tirelessly toward the day when everyone on earth has access to clean, safe water.

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!