Faith and the waters of change

By Scott Harrison, Founder of charity: water President Obama mentioned the work of charity: water at his speech at the … Continued

By Scott Harrison, Founder of charity: water

President Obama mentioned the work of charity: water at his speech at the 2011 National Prayer Breakfast. Why?

Why water? Right now, nearly a billion people are living without access to clean and safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. In countries where we work, water affects everything in life. Women spend their days walking for it. Kids miss school to collect it for their families, from sources likely to make them sick. Food supply dwindles in its absence; economies suffer without it.

In four years, we’ve funded over 3,800 water projects to provide more than 1.7 million people in 17 countries with access to clean and safe drinking water. Along the way, we’ve formed a movement to fight the water crisis: we have more than 100,000 individual donors and 13,000 individuals raising funds on their own for the cause.

Our goal is to reinvent charity: we use 100% of all public donations to directly fund water projects on the ground and we prove each completed project with GPS coordinates plotted on Google Maps. We use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to help share our message; we keep things simple and empower our supporters to make our story their own.

There’s a proverb in the Bible that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” There are certainly too many people still dying from diseases caused by dirty water, but could that be because we’re terrified to tackle the enormous? Because we don’t have the faith to see the entire problem solved? I disagree. We have ambitious goals at charity: water. As President Obama mentioned in his speech, we want to provide 100 million people with access to clean, safe drinking water within 10 years. Learn how we’re doing it and join us at charitywater.org.

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  • chicoandtheman2001

    Is Obama sincere about charity? Keep in mind that he pushed killing the charitable deduction which would have crippled literally thousands of non-profits that touch the lives of tens of millions of the least-fortunate Americans for the better — and, likewise, that Mr. and Mrs. Obama gave less than 1% of their salary to charity from 2000-2004. Charity begins at home. You can quote the bible, but the Bible doesn’t say you get credit for stealing money out of the pockets of your neighbor on the left to do good works for the neighbor on the right. When it came time to reach into his OWN pocket, Mr. Obama told those in need, “Nah, I’d rather spend the money on myself. I have mine; you go get yours.”

  • fst2

    Our country needs to increase taxes on the rich if we want to get out of debt. They’ve had huge amounts of capital since about a year after teh crash, and yet they haven’t spent it, which is half the source of our woes. The income of the top 5% of Americans has increased DRAMATICALLY since 1980. The income of the bottom 90% has barely kept pace with inflation.In the meantime, this country also needs to cut the military budget. That is definitely the biggest source of waste in our budget, has been since the 80s. That, combined with taxes on the rich, should

  • MidLib

    Chico,

  • fst2

    that, combined with taxes on the rich, would give us the most chance to pay off our country’s debt, though a few programs may need cutting, the government needs to be careful not to cut things that help the economy, and thus tax rolls. (They need to be careful about minimizing this when cutting the military budget as well!)Strange that my comment got cut off.

  • WmarkW

    I think we should take a clue from those food-donor organizations, and suggest that every American skip taking one shower a week, which would save enough clean water to provide for an African family of four.

  • areyousaying

    The US set a great example of this in Iraq where Emperor Crocker diverted $1 billion marked for water purification to “security” and one in eight Iraqi children under five died of water borne diseases.

  • LOONYBIN2000

    DONT LET YOUR PAL BUSH KNOW YOU ARE A CHRISTION. HE WILL SEND WORD UP TO GOD, THE GUY HE TALKS TO, AND WILL NOT PERMIT YOU THRUE THE PEARLY GATES! HE COMMENTED ONLY BABTIST ARE ALLOWED IN HEAVAN. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE THE LAST CHRISTIAN POPE WE HAD? IS HE FLOATING AROUND SOMEWHERE?