Okay guys. I’m gonna get serious with you here for a sec.
Yesterday at church they highlighted one of the organizations we support called Blood:Water Mission, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it since then. So I thought I’d tell you guys a bit about who they are and what you do.
The organization was started by the guys from the band Jars Of Clay, and it is based out of Nashville. Basically what they do is help villagers in Africa build wells in order for them to have clean water, and they partner with other organizations in Africa to educate people about AIDS.
According to their website: Blood:Water Mission first stepped into funding a late stage AIDS hospice and discovered the vital link between living with HIV/AIDS and the need for clean water. As a result, Blood:Water Mission launched the 1000 Wells Project in 2005 as a nation-wide effort to raise enough money to provide clean water and sanitation to 1000 communities in sub-Saharan Africa based on the equation that $1 provides one African with clean water for an entire year.
I don’t know why this is, but I have had a pull in my heart toward Africa for a long time. I am constantly amazed and appalled at what happens on that continent, and I want so badly to go over there sometime to help. Hopefully one day that will happen, even if it’s only for a short time.
But the other thing that really grabs me is the idea that despite the fact that the world is around 70% water, and in America we have and use endless amounts of water, hundreds of millions of people lack access to clean water. It makes me sick to think of the discrepancy between they way I live and the way those people live, how something I drench myself in every morning and that sits in a glass by my bed every evening just in case I’m thirsty in the middle of the night can mean life and death for a villager in Africa. I don’t like to think about it, so most of the time I don’t.
But when I see organizations like Blood:Water Mission doing what they are doing, it gives me hope. Obviously there will always be more work to do, but at least they are doing it.
Here’s one thing they are doing that makes me wish A. I had kids or B. I were still a kid: Lemon:aid.
Did you ever have lemonade stands when you were little? Well we did, and due to our strategic marketing strategies (we posted up at a four-way stop on Sundays after church…unstoppable), we made quite a bit of money. Also sold frogs (you heard me), and charged $1.50 for lemonade in the big plastic Vandy cups my brother collected after every football game. I should have gone into sales.
But the cool thing about Lemon:aid is that they are asking people to have lemonade stands and give all of the proceeds to Blood:Water Mission so that they can build wells in Africa for people to have clean water that they can drink. What a simple idea, what a poignant connection between quenching thirst here and quenching thirst there, and what a great way to get your children to care about things and people outside of themselves while they are young. It’s never too early to start.
I’ve seriously considered having a stand anyway, but twenty-somethings just aren’t as cute as kids, and I’m not sure how many people would stop. Oh well. I’ll wait a few years.
I know I’m not very good at it, but I do try to conserve water and energy as much as I can. I know that unfortunately my conservation of resources won’t directly affect people in other countries, but I still feel like it’s the right thing to do, and I just hate wasting resources that I know other people don’t even have.
Here are some things you might consider adopting as habits:
- try not to take more than one shower a day. If you can work it out to only take one reasonably short shower a day, it will save tons of water. If you can get away with every other day, do it! I only shower once a week. Kidding.
- drink the water that you pour into glasses. If you don’t drink it, use it for watering, cleaning, for your pets, or for a practical joke on your husband.
- turn off lights when you are not home, or when you are not using a specific room. I keep outside lights and one inside light on when we are gone at night for safety reasons, but during the day I turn all lights off.
- turn the AC/heat up/down when you leave the house. No need for it to be running like mad all day for the pets.
- use reusable towels instead of paper towels and cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, when possible. And remember those reusable grocery bags, quit leaving them in your car
- recycle! Just do it.
- get rid of your huge truck unless you really need it and get a car that doesn’t guzzle gas. I bet there are even trucks with good gas mileage now, so there really shouldn’t be an excuse to drive a car that gets 10 miles to the gallon.
- try to be more aware overall of your effect on your surroundings and on the environment. I bet you can find more than a few ways to change the way you live to make the world around you a tiny bit better.
- consider giving to organizations that do things that you believe in. No amount of help is too small.
These are all things that I need to continually remind myself of, but once they are habits it’s pretty easy to keep up with them.
Well that’s that, I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about Blood:Water Mission and the amazing things they are doing. Do you have any other awesome energy saving tips for me, or organizations you champion? Send them my way, I’d love to hear about them.