Photo credits: Janelle Gustafson
One of my favorite days of the year is our annual Walk4Water at the church where I serve, Prairie Oak Community Church. We fill our buckets full of water and “feel the burn” as we trudge two miles through suburban Andover, Minnesota.
The purpose of our event is to change two communities: our own by bringing awareness of the need for clean water and the community where a well will be built with the proceeds. This year’s proceeds will go to a community in Liberia that was hard hit by the Ebola virus.
Past project results in a well in Sierra Leone
What I love about this event is how it brings us together as one no matter the age. Parents will often pull younger children in wagons. Dogs are always invited to walk along with us. Every generation is represented in the long line of people in matching blue shirts taking an hour of their time to make a difference in the world.
Last year we added a 5K fun run to the event. I love the cheering and encouraging words that are shouted to the runners- especially by those who have finished the race and who wait at the finish line.
Sponsoring a Walk4Water event in your community is a great way to not only raise money for clean water initiatives, but also to raise awareness in your community of the need for clean water. Ultimately the goal is to change two communities: one in need of water and one in need of compassion.
A Walk4Water event can be any size whether a small group of family members and friends or a large organization of 500.
The event can include a pre-walk party or information session, the 2-mile walk, 5K run and an after-party. During the walk participants carry buckets of water to “feel the burn” that those without clean water near them feel as they walk to the nearest water source. For those who are physically unable to carry buckets, supply water bottles to carry. Families enjoy walking together pulling younger kids in wagons. Also, participants can recruit teams from work, the gym, neighborhoods or extended family. After the walk consider holding a picnic with grilled hotdogs and other simple food.
River’s Edge has a Clean Water lesson for kids that helps them understand that a way we love others as Jesus told us to do is by supplying clean water to those in need. Consider teaching this lesson as a way to prepare for the walk.
Have you done something with your church, family or organization to raise money for clean water? We’d love to hear about it.