The patter of hundreds of sneakered feet lunging past the starting line was a sound that 18-year-old Hunter Smith will never forget.
As the pale spring sun was peeking over the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains that cloudy March morning, Hunter had already been up for hours setting up for a 5K race in his hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia. But before long, the growing sound of movement, laughter, and excitement from the congregating crowd quickly shook off every hint of weariness.
As race time drew closer, spectators began scanning the sponsor tents for a seasoned race planner to emerge, but were surprised instead to see a teenager with a shirt that read “Agua Pura” (Spanish for “clean water”) and a megaphone in his hand, quietly stepping out from the crowd.
For Hunter, this was the culmination of nearly a year of dreaming and planning. As he raised the megaphone to his lips, he thought of the moment nearly a year ago when everything had changed.
It all started with a trip. While most kids his age were spending their summer vacation poolside, Hunter decided to go with his church on an outreach trip to serve impoverished communities in Guatemala.
“We went to villages and saw people living in deplorable conditions. They were living in houses built from scrap metal they found at the dump. Those same people did not have clean water.”
It was a defining moment for Hunter . . . setting ablaze a passion that has propelled him to accomplish more than anyone thought possible.
Not long after he set foot back on home soil, Hunter went to work strategizing how he could fundraise to provide wells for the people he met in Guatemala who were struggling every day from the effects of dirty water.
Using his love for running as a springboard, a blueprint for the first ever Agua Pura 5K Run was set in motion. The wildly successful event raised $6,600 for the clean-water cause, which Hunter chose to invest in building a well in the village of Pueblo del Rio in Guatemala.
Before the gift of Hunter’s well, this community had suffered for years from drinking water from contaminated sources. The people were constantly sick and were plagued continuously by skin problems. Even the animals were sick.
Everything changed when clean water was introduced with the completion of Hunter’s well. Now the community of Pueblo del Rio is thriving, able to spend the hours they were sick on school and work instead.
With one teenager’s desire to make a difference, the life of an entire village has been set on a new trajectory: one of promise, possibility, and hope.
Today, two years and $35,000 later, Hunter’s vision for providing clean water has expanded even further. His audacious goal of providing clean water around the world for communities in need remains unchanged.
And according to Hunter, this is just the beginning.
“Just because we have raised all this money does not mean we need to stop. There are still many people in Guatemala who lack access to clean water.”
We hope Hunter’s story inspires you to get involved as a causelife advocate. You don’t have to wait for more time, more money, or more influence—use what you have right now to start making a difference!
It’s advocates like Hunter—like YOU—who make these incredible transformations possible. Thank you for partnering with us to be the ripple that changes the world.
Find out more about how to fundraise, host an event, give, or share the cause by visiting causelife.org/actnow today.