Many of us have come to a point in our lives in which we met a painful reality—the stark contrast between our comfortable, cozy lives and the deeply unsettling affects of poverty.
And we begin to wonder . . . am I doing enough?
For Katie Marshall, a certified trainer and recognized health and fitness coach on social media, this moment came when she stood in the midst of a rural Guatemalan village and came face to face with true poverty for the first time.
It was during a medical missions trip where Katie and her husband, Mark, looked into the solemn eyes of impoverished children, and their hearts began to break. It took only a moment’s glance to see their childlike dreams being ruthlessly choked out by a host of water-related illnesses.
And there was only one solution—clean water.
“Our hearts broke at the suffering,” Katie said. “While we shop for whichever bottled water we want in the states, we saw people who had no access to something so critical.”
The disparity was mind-numbing.
When the Marshalls boarded their flight home, they were on a mission.
Having already established a large following on social media, Katie decided to leverage her online influence to raise the funds necessary to drill a deep bore well.
“We took to social media to spread our message and engage our family, friends, and followers. We sold shirts, and made videos explaining our cause and the desperate need for clean water,” Katie explained.
An exciting and impassioned fundraising journey had begun . . . but it certainly didn’t come without its obstacles and doubts.
“We worried if the cause would even catch on with people,” Katie admitted. We live in a fast-paced society and a self-centered social media culture. We weren’t sure if we would even sell five shirts.”
But the Marshalls soon learned that no goal is too big when God is involved.
Tears of joy welled up in Katie’s eyes the moment she learned they had not only reached their goal . . . they had far exceeded it. With overwhelming support from all across the country, they raised enough funds to provide two impoverished communities with deep bore wells.
“There are no words to describe the feeling . . . ” Katie recalled. “We cannot wait to get to Guatemala to dedicate these wells.”
Do you sometimes find yourself questioning your purpose . . . your impact?
Starting your own online fundraiser is an incredible opportunity to bring health and hope to impoverished communities right from your own home—and there has never been a better time to get involved.
Here’s Katie’s advice:
Pray. Then act! Be bold. Be passionate. Press forward and don’t look back. Engage your community, friends, family and social media—they are all powerful tools to carry the message. Celebrate every donation, small and large. You’re one dollar closer to meeting the needs of people who have no voice.
Be a clean water advocate wherever you go!
We’ll send you a free water team T-shirt when you raise $75 or more.