Wednesday, October 20

Sharing My Birthday - Clean Water for Others

One of the great things about the Catalyst Conference is that they make a point to share about world needs with the leaders who are there. Last year, the issues that were highlighted were adoption and micro-finance. I, personally, love the concept of micro-finance - providing small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries to help them start businesses to provide for their families. I would encourage you to check out organizations like Kiva and Hope International. My wife and I have loaned through Kiva over the past couple of years and have seen our small investment help three or four families in different parts of the world.

This year's highlighted issues at Catalyst were human trafficking and clean water. Did you know that:

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of diseases and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable, as their bodies aren't strong enough to fight diarrhea, dysentery and other illnesses.

90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are to children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The UN predicts that one tenth of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply and sanitation.

In light of this, we were challenged to use our birthdays to provide clean water. So I'm taking that challenge. My 52nd birthday is coming up next month and I am asking friends, family, former students, and anyone who reads this blog to help with this project. I don't need another birthday present, but there are a lot of children who need clean water. My goal is to raise $5000 - the average cost to build a well that will serve 250 people.

If you could give $52 for my 52nd birthday - or $26 or $10 or $520 - please go to my Charity:water page. It would be a huge blessing to me and an even greater blessing to those it will serve.

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