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November Challenge

November 1, 2009

I’ve been waiting for this day for sooooo long.  Bet you didn’t know that. 

I was going to blog this interview on Friday, but felt it would be much more valuable and fitting for my “November Challenge”.   Mainly because I believe being informed is the most important piece of decision making. 

To start of the “November Challenge”  I want to introduce you to my friend Jody Landers – she’s the founder of water4christmas and has paved a road many of us walk (or run – if you choose) down. 

MR(me): Hey Jody!  Can I interview you for my blog?

JL (Jody): Well. Sure!

MR: Thanks.  So tell me. Why water? Why Christmas?

JL: water.  You don’t have to go very far back into the cycles of poverty to discover that water is central to everything.  Without clean water, there is little hope of health, education, trade, dignity.  It’s the leading cause of death in undeveloped nations, killing 4500 children every single day.  80% of all disease is caused by unclean water and the lack of sanitation.  Yet, the frustrating and exciting thing about it is that it doesn’t have to be.  There are solutions.  The technology is there.  The water waits under the ground.  And for one billion people in the world who lack access to clean water,  they simply need a hand up.
Christmas.  Our American consumption and consumerism…especially at Christmas time…stands in such stark contrast to the basic need of clean water.  Americans spend 450 billion dollars on Christmas every single year.  For a fraction of that, the whole world could be equipped with clean water.  It’s a chance to trade consumerism for compassion.  To remember.  To give.  To change the world.

MR: I’m shocked by those numbers. I know it’s hard to imagine any one of us can make such an impact. So tell me,  how far can a one-time $5 donation go?

JL:  $5 gives an African clean water for 5 years.  $10  and one person has clean water for 10 years.  $20 and you have equipped a person…a real person..with clean water for 20 years.  And it’s literally often a life-saving gift.  Perhaps it enables them to attend school rather than spend their days walking for water.  Perhaps it frees them from years of constant stomach pain where now they can work and earn a living.  Perhaps it equips a mother to keep her child alive.

MR: No way?!  I’m amazed and excited about that.  How much of that donation goes to drill wells for clean water?

JL: all of it.  We (water4christmas) don’t handle any money.  All money raised goes directly to charity: water.  They in turn take 100% of it straight to water solutions.

MR:  Yes! I like the sound of that.  What do you say to folks who just can’t afford to give financially?

JL:  One of the easiest things is just to give up the exchange of a couple gifts.  Let someone that would normally buy you a gift know that you are asking for Water for Christmas.  That rather than spending money on a gift, perhaps they could buy Water in your name. OR we love stories like the grandmother who didn’t have much money to give, but knew how to make stained glass.  She pulled out all of her tools and began making water droplet ornaments to sell.  She alone has funded a well or two (over $5,000) by simply the sale of her ornaments.  IT was little cost to her but she gave most of her time and talent.   So get creative with fund-raising…

MR:  You know me and creative. 🙂 So how else can folks get involved?

JL: I believe the impact is huge when we all simply use our voices.  Speak up for the thirsty.  Rally around a cause.  Get creative in their fundraising efforts.  Use whatever gifts, talents, and spheres of influence God has given you.  Use your voice.  Rally your friends and family.  Give sacrificially.

MR: Amen Sista!  How many folks do you think water4christmas has directly helped over the last year?

JL: I don’t know for sure.   but thousands.  Maybe 8,000 to 10,000 people have been giving the life saving gift of clean water.  But I don’t want to forget those of us who have given…the thousands of people who bought Water.  I do believe we have been “helped” and changed as well.

MR:  I know I have.  My eyes have been opened much wider than I expected.   you’re amazing.  you’ve started something remarkable.  i really can’t begin to wrap my head around it. what a blessing to so many lives you’ve saved. i love you!

JL: and i love you.  so many, many thanks.

My friends.  One little person in the middle of the U.S. has rallied her friends, family, and the rest of the world to bring clean water to those with the biggest need. 

So what does all of this have to do with a “November Challenge”?  Well (pun intended)….during November I’m going to blog the miles I run (funny stories included).  As I run each mile I challenge you to do one of two things.  You may either donate $1 for every mile I run during this month (with a Friday Challenge on November 13th – more to come) or simply click on the socialvibe button to the right equal to the miles I run.  For example:  I ran 9 miles this morning.  So today, simply click on the socialvibe button 9 separate times.  If you wish, leave a message telling others that this for the “November Challenge”.  I would love to see the number of gallons reach 1/2 million by the 30th.    Or simply click this button and donate $9 for today: blocks_image_2_1

If you are curious about other ways to give simply send me an e-mail ( and I’ll hook you up.

Run on Friends!

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 1, 2009 10:40 pm

    simply awesome.

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