About a month ago, I shared these facts with you:
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.
So I decided to use the occasion of my 52nd birthday to raise money for a freshwater well in a developing country through the organization Charity:water. And I asked you to give toward that project. And did you! In that month, you gave $5,000 – the average cost of building a well that will provide clean water at least 250 people.
Though part of my job is raising money for our ministry, the giving to this project was different. It was for my birthday. And I asked folks from all aspects of my life – family, students, former students, friends, track friends. I wasn’t sure how people would respond to such a blatant request for money for my birthday.
What I discovered is that people from all walks of life, and all over the country, resonated with the need for clean water and were excited about a chance to help with such a project. And I was moved and humbled by the responses – that 63 people from 17 states (including DC) cared enough to give. Thanks to all of you. It will probably be at least a year before the well is completed, but I will keep you updated on the progress.
This project has also been a reminder that we can accomplish great things and make our world a better place for others when we work together. We just to do it more often.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40