This is the back of my car. Almost anyone that knows me well, knows that I have a bad habit of chucking half full water bottles to the back. I will drink half the bottle, leave it in the car for a while, it gets hot, so I throw it in the back to sit until I decide to clean out my car (which is a rare occasion). Yesterday I got in my car to go work with my fresh bottle of water, grabbed the bottle from yesterday, and threw it in the back. As soon as the bottle left my hand, I was convicted by what I was doing. I throw my water bottles to the back of my car because I know there are fresh cold ones in my refrigerator, while people are dying all over the world because of lack of clean water.
I was overwhelmed by that thought. But I didn’t want my convictions to end in my car. I wanted to know numbers. Here is what I found from Water.org
*1.4 million children die each year because of waterborne diseases
*Nearly 1 billion people lack access to safe water
*2.5 billion people do not have access to improved sanitation
*Improved sanitation: defined as a sanitation facility that ensures hygienic separation of human excreta from human contact
*Approximately 1 in 8 people lack access to safe water supplies
*3.575 million people die each year from water-related diseases
*An American taking a 5 minute shower uses more water than most do in a day
*More people in the world have a cell phone than access to a toilet
*Diarrhea is 2nd leading cause of death among children under age 5. It kills more than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined.
*Every 20 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease
*Children in poor environments often carry 1,000 parasitic worms in their body at any time
*In one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is used collecting water.
*3 jerry cans or water weigh as much as a baby giraffe
Wow. And I carelessly throw my water bottles like they’re nothing. I am so thankful that God continues to bless me so abundantly when I am so thoughtless sometimes.
But I don’t want to just stop at being more appreciative of water. I don’t want to just stop throwing them to the back of my car. I want to DO something. We can feel bad about something and be moved by something all we want. But if everyone just stops there, stops at conviction, what good is that? Change requires action. So I did my research.
I found a wonderful organization called Water is Life. WiL works to provide life giving water solutions. Their goal is to provide both short-term temporary and long-term sustainable water solutions in developing countries. They have created a Water is Life straw as a temporary solution. The straw is a small, portable filtration device that provides pure, clean drinking water whenever it is immersed into a water source. Each straw only costs $10, but it provides clean water to a person for a year. During that year, WiL works to implement a long-term sustainable clean water solution to the village. How awesome is that?!
There were 10 water bottles in the back of my car. So I have decided to purchase 10 straws. With $100, 10 people will have clean water for a year. Now I challenge you to purchase a straw. One movie ticket, two drinks from Starbucks, or two meals from Chick-fil-a. That’s all I’m asking you to give up. I have 1,011 “friends” on Facebook. I actually know everyone of them to some degree. If everyone of my friends donated, 1,011 lives could be saved. Will join me?