by Bailee Ku, staff writer
Village’s Future Business Leaders of America Club (FBLA) has started a campaign for charity:water, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the water crisis. Beginning in January and ending in March, the goal of the campaign is to raise $10,000, the cost of funding one water project.
FBLA has been fundraising since the start of the year, holding a pancake breakfast at Chili’s in October, working concessions throughout both football and basketball season and very recently selling sweets at a bake sale. Members of the club were encouraged to donate homemade cookies, cupcakes, and brownies in exchange for service hours. So far, including profit from the bake sale, FBLA has been able to raise $2,600 for their campaign.
“The good thing is, with charity:water, no matter how much money you raise, it’s still going to the field. We don’t really know (where the project will be). It depends on where it’s needed most,” Bridgitt Ku, FBLA’s club president said.
charity: water is a New York-born organization founded by Scott Harrison. In 2004, he traveled with Mercy Ships, an organization that funds floating hospitals which provide free medical care to third-world countries. After witnessing the devastating effects of drinking dirty water in Liberia, Harrison started charity: water with the dream of making clean water accessible for everyone. Unlike most charities, which keep some public donations behind for administrative or fundraising costs, charity: water uses 100% of their public donations for water projects. All “overhead” costs are covered by private donors. Meaning, any money that Village Christian Academy sends is used directly in the field.
So, why water? Despite the fact that 75% of the earth is covered in water, 1 in 10 people do not have access to clean water. That’s 663 million people! These people walk for hours a day to reach dirty water that often carries disease.
“Diseases from dirty water kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. 43% of those deaths are children under five years old. Access to clean water and basic sanitation can save around 16,000 lives every week,” says charity:water.
charity: water works with members of the community to find sustainable solutions, including BioSand filters, wells, and rainwater harvesting systems. So far, charity: water has funded 21,118 water projects, bringing clean water to 6.4 million people.
The campaign ends in 35 days. Give up something, a cup of Starbucks or a snack and donate to clean water. Donate here.
“For me, charity is practical. It’s sometimes easy, more often inconvenient, but always necessary. It’s the ability to use one’s position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable.” – Scott Harrison