I turned on the water in my home today. I used it to bathe, clean and drink.
It was glorious.
And, I imagine like many of you, I barely gave it a thought as I turned the faucet off and on throughout the day, as I waited for warmer water, cooler water. This is, quite simply to say, I take this incredible gift for granted. I drink when I’m thirsty. I splash water on my face when I feel flushed. I shower when I’m dirty. I wet cloths and wipe the food from small faces.
I don’t walk miles to fill jugs so that my family can get what they need.
I don’t risk handing my small people water that is contaminated….poisoning them with the very thing that should be nourishing them from their blood to their bones.
So, it is with this knowledge that I am joining a movement: one lasting 40 days. I’m joining forces with Blood: Water Mission on their 40 Days of Water Challenge in the hopes of raising both awareness and much needed funds to overcome the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa.
The Challenge is for me (and you if you would like to participate) to drink nothing but water for 40 days – from February 13th until March 30th. The significance of those dates is not lost on this Catholic girl. Wednesday, February 13th is Ash Wednesday, and officially the beginning of the 40 days of Lent, ending the day before Easter Sunday. This challenge means I will be giving up the morning coffee and tea, forgoing juices and such in the middle of the day and skipping any wine in the evening. For each drink I skip, I will donate the money I WOULD have spent to the cause.
Blood: Water Mission is a faith-based non-profit founded by the members of the Grammy winning band Jars of Clay. Since 2005, they have been supporting our neighbors in sub-Saharan Africa by working to combat their two biggest challenges – a pure lack of clean drinking water and a rate of HIV/AIDS that is simply too high. In the past, as they have raised money, they have equated $1 to the amount of money needed to provide one child clean drinking water for A YEAR.
Imagine that with me for a moment.
I skip coffee in the morning = a child has clean water. I pass on a glass of wine – at least SIX children see water in their future.
For this project, money is going to Uganda and wells will be built to provide entire communities with the gift of life they so desperately deserve. In Uganda, 33% of the people do not have access to clean drinking water. This breaks my heart.
I am just one person. But, I can help. And so can my small people. And so can you. Imagine the difference we can make together.
I am not doing this because I have to. I’m doing it because it is the most beautiful, life-giving gift I can give. I have taken it for granted too many times in my life. It is time that I put some energy towards sharing this gift. This 40 day challenge will be a constant reminder to value its worth and to appreciate my opportunity to be able to share it.
Blood: Water Mission makes the 40 Day Water Challenge so easy. Not only can you register in minutes on their site, but you can keep track of your progress daily and check in on the thousands of others who have already made the commitment. Isn’t it always easier to do a challenge like this surrounded by the inspiration and motivation of friends and a supportive community? At the time of this writing, there have been more than 34,800 drinks given up for the project (And note: the official date hasn’t started yet!) by just shy of 5-thousand people.
More than 76-Thousand dollars has been raised. I will soon be adding to that total. Each time I skip a drink of any kind in favor or water, I hope on to my profile online to ‘Add a Drink’. I list what I
*would* have had and how much I saved. This is money I’m pledging to donate at the end of each week. The challenge allows each Sunday to be a ‘free day’ if you would like to sip on a favorite something.
Please consider joining and donating.