Why you should bother with clean water

  • March 08, 2018
Emily Towns

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The alarm beeps loudly — it’s time to start your day.

You get out of bed and head to the sink, splashing water on your face to wake up. It’s early Monday morning, so you add a little extra water to the coffee pot before turning it on. The kids wake up, and you make their breakfasts and lunches while checking to see if they’ve brushed their teeth before they leave for school. You wash up the breakfast dishes and throw in a quick load of laundry.

It’s only 7:30 a.m., but without realizing it, you’ve already used several gallons of clean water. As the day goes on, you will use even more by simply turning on the tap or twisting off the cap of a bottle. You’ll take a shower; you’ll wash your car. You’ll boil spaghetti noodles, but first you’ll need to wash your hands. Maybe you’ll brew a pot of tea or another cup of coffee.

For most of us, water is readily available and safe to drink. On average, most Americans use 88 gallons of water every day. But for one in 10 people around the world, even a cup of clean water is not an option.

Viviana lives in Peru. She is 29 years old and a mother to three small children — all under the age of 7. She wakes up early in the morning, not to make a pot of coffee or prepare school lunches … instead she must get water for her family. Until recently, she had to make a long, dangerous journey to the closest shallow well. She had to cross a busy road, and the path she walked is full of snakes.

Her husband worried about her safety. He works long hours far away from home, so Viviana had only two choices: she could either bring her children with her to the well or leave them at home with a neighbor to look in on them. She often made the choice to leave her sleeping 5-month-old and her boisterous toddler behind. It was safer that way. But she hated being away from them for so long.

By the time she returned home, Viviana was tired. The dirty water she gathered from the shallow well didn’t help. It made her and the children sick, and she was too tired to play with 3-year-old Patrick or help 6-year-old Alex with his homework. Before she knew it, the water jar was empty and it was time to repeat her journey all over again.

The name Viviana means full of life, but her long treks to the well and the dirty water she consumed left her feeling the opposite. But thanks to generous donors, Viviana’s life has completely changed.

Today, Viviana has a clean-water well right in front of her house. The whole community shares it, and everyone is thriving — especially Viviana.

Now, she has the time and energy to cook and play with her children. She no longer has to leave them behind or put herself in harm’s way. Because of clean water, her family is healthy and Viviana is strong enough to take care of the home. Her son is able to focus in school, and Viviana is confident that he has a bright future.

Whether we realize it or not, clean water affects every part of our lives. When communities have a clean-water well, it allows mothers to grow crops and spend time investing in their children. It allows fathers to raise livestock and earn a profit. It allows children to remain healthy and focused as they study in school.

Clean water doesn’t just quench thirst — it changes everything.

For Viviana, clean water also has helped remind her of God’s love.

“Before, nobody came to help us with this huge need,” she said. “So for me and my family, it is a blessing from God. Now I know that we have clean, pure, and abundant water that will never run out.”

You can be the answer to someone’s prayers by helping provide clean water. All it takes is $15 to give water to someone like Viviana for an entire year.

Help transform the life of someone in need by giving clean water today.

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