Guest Post – World Water Day

The following is a guest post by Patti Gibbons for World Water Day. Get more info from Patti at

There are a lot of causes competing for our attention, especially as youth workers. Proof is in the inbox (or social media timeline) full of pleas, advertisements, and potential events vying for our attention. Many of them involve basic human needs, some involve disasters, yet others focus on treatment of other human beings with equity and dignity. They all tug on our heartstrings. They are all worthy in some way.

Today, March 22, is another such day – World Water Day. Today, even as many talk about means and methods for solving the global water crisis, 5,000 children will die from water-borne illnesses for lack of clean drinking water. That’s a small school district’s worth of children, or a smallish large church full of people. It is a lot of people.

Availability of clean water impacts practically every area of life. Ponder for a moment the ways you personally use water everyday. Consider how far you need to go for it. Think about how much pause it gives you to drink it, cook with it, or use it for personal hygiene. Now, consider that 5K is a typical distance for water that a woman or child will go for contaminated water in the developing world. They carry it on their heads, or backs, in water container is available. They use that amount of water for every need. It’s precious… and filthy.

Water statistics are easy to come by today. Google will give you pages and pages.

My purpose here is to urge you to consider a creative solution. Let me give you an example, but then please take it and give it your own spin, your own creativity, your own life. Get your students in on it. Let’s solve this one in our lifetime.

That creative idea? My friend TJ Foltz and a few other youth pastor friends got together one day and started brainstorming how to meet the most basic needs causing humanity to suffer around the world. Water rose to the top of the list. Rather than hold a fundraiser and write a check, they created one on a grand scale. They founded Humankind Water.

Humankind Water bottles spring water, and they sell it at some WalMart stores in the eastern US because they won the retailer’s “Get On The Shelf” contest. For every $1, 20 ounce bottle sold, the net profits provide the cost of one year’s worth of clean water for one person. This is possible because water wells and filtration technology has gotten less expensive, and more efficient. Humankind partners with non-profits you’ve heard of, who vet the sites and communities to make sure they are meeting real needs.

It’s an audacious goal, but Humankind Water wants to go out of business. Not for lack of sales, but because the water crisis isn’t a crisis any longer.

That kind of creativity.

Links to include, if you wish,

Feel free to grab a photo out of the Haiti album on the facebook page, or use this sweet video, Message in a Bottle, that tells their story.

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