by Stephen Dafoe
Area residents are encouraged to join The Father’s House on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for their Walk for Water fundraiser, an initiative to raise funds for clean water projects worldwide.
Organizer Ashley Coppin said the Father’s House has always had a heart for outreach and doing what they can to care for local community needs as is the case with the work at Higher Grounds Cafe. But the church has also helped with issues around the world and Walk for Water is the latest of those efforts.
“Charity: Water, which is the registered charity that we are donating to, has a really impactful story about how it came to be and the bold promises they made from the very beginning,” Coppin said. “Many of us who have seen the video [above] that tells the story have been brought to tears hearing the alarming statistics of the 785 million people who live without clean water, and the thousands of people, many who are children that die each day from the diseases caused by this dirty water.”
Coppin said the charity promises 100 per cent of the funds donated go towards clean water because the charity has its administration costs covered by separate donors than those donating to the cause of clean water.
“Once we reach our goal of $10,000 dollars, the money will be sent to a developing country where it will have the greatest impact,” Coppin explained. “This amount of money will help bring clean water to a whole community. Charity: Water [approves] every project. So once the project is completed, we will receive GPS coordinates of where it is and how many people are receiving clean water from it.”
To participate in the Aug. 28 event, Coppin said participants simply wear a blue shirt and walk 6 kilometres.
“You can walk whenever or wherever you would like,” she said, noting participants can meet at 10 a.m. at the Morinville Fish and Game Pond.
“We have a route mapped out so that at the 3-km point, we will have people turn around to walk the final 3 km back to their vehicle,” Coppin said. “As a fun way to see some smiling faces of participants, you can also post a picture once you’ve completed the walk at #walkforwatercanada.”
There is no need to register for the event, and everyone is welcome.
“Our hope is not only to raise $10,000 but also to bring awareness to this local and global issue,” Coppin said. “The fact that diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war, is a devastating reality that we have the ability to help bring an end to.”
Coppin said the choice of 6 km is the average distance primarily women and children around the world walk to collect water.
“We are doing a small gesture to empathize with this challenging reality. We are also creating an opportunity to share and talk about this local and global issue, including communities across Canada that don’t have access to clean water, with the hope to spur people on to respond with compassion and find generous and loving ways to contribute to change.”
All donations, big and small, help to bring change. The Father’s House hopes Morinville and area residents will donate by visiting www.walkforwatercanada.ca and clicking on ‘Give Clean Water’.
For more information on the charity, visit www.charitywater.org