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Stories4 min read


How one 16-year-old started a movement … and you can too

Mar 13, 2017

Baylee Bennett grew up in a family of passionate humanitarians who believe in the power of hope. And at only 16 years old, that same passion became her own.

In August 2016, Baylee traveled to Guatemala where she witnessed the dedication ceremonies of two deep bore wells her family had raised funds to provide.

“Being able to see the community that was impacted so positively by clean water was transformative for me,” Baylee recalled. “Although it’s cliché to say, when I returned home from the trip to Guatemala, I was completely changed inside and out … not just from seeing the need for clean water, but seeing a life so different from my own.”

Resolved to make clean water more accessible in remote Guatemala, Baylee hit the ground running the moment she arrived back in the U.S.

Baylee and her best friend, Sophie, bravely jumped into advocacy by starting an initiative at their high school called Give Global. The girls were filled with a mix of fear and excitement as they stood on the brink of their fundraising journey — could high school students really raise enough money to provide a well?

“We did not expect anyone to want to take part in our project,” Baylee admitted. “We were so nervous to branch out in the face of our peers and start the project because we felt like we would be doing it all alone and no one would be interested in it.”

But as soon as the girls took a bold step of faith, God showed up to remind them He is a worker of miracles … all they had to do was be willing.

“At our first meeting, we walked into a room of almost 100 students who had seen our club’s advertisement in the morning announcements and wanted to be a part of our project,” Baylee said. “That was the biggest indicator for me personally that God was going to guide Sophie and me through our fundraising journey and help us achieve our goal.”

Nearly 70 students joined the clean-water movement and combined their creative minds to raise funds across various mediums. They shared the opportunity on social media, set up donation jars at local businesses, sold bracelets at school events, and organized bake sales and car washes.

These passionate students committed to change lives in rural Guatemala and watched God make their vision a reality.

“The biggest lesson I have learned from this experience is that it truly doesn’t matter how old you are, how much money you have, or how many ‘connections’ you have,” Baylee said. “I didn’t know how I was going to pull off raising $15,000 with other 16-year-old students. But I knew that if I didn’t at least try and have faith in what this project could do, I wouldn’t have made my experience in Guatemala mean anything.”

Not only will Baylee’s experience in Guatemala ultimately transform the lives of hundreds of people living in a remote community, but it has also greatly impacted the lives of students who worked alongside her. They witnessed how passion, faith, and commitment make transformation happen.

“Clean water is the most basic right no one should be deprived of,” Baylee said. “If I’m not utilizing my immense privilege to aid others and be part of something bigger than myself, I’m not living my life in the way I was meant to.”

Are you living life to the fullest?

You don’t have to travel across the world to make an incredible difference. Simply choosing to add clean water to your bucket list can transform everything for a community in need. You can even provide one person with clean water for as little as $15!

Refresh Your Bucket List today and make someone else’s dreams possible.


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