Campaign Highlights

#GivingTuesday2017

The holiday season is in full swing as we’re about a week away from Thanksgiving! You may remember from our Angels Watching Over Us blog a few weeks ago that we referenced the launching of our new Drop by Drop campaign this year during Giving Tuesday. As November 28th (#givingtuesday2017) quickly approaches, we wanted to provide some more exciting details around this new avenue to give to Water To Thrive.

Giving Tuesday, perhaps better recognizable as #givingtuesday, is a global initiative that was started as a way to focus back on spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving traditionally has been a day of giving thanks, followed by every deal under the sun. From Black Friday, to Small Business Saturday, concluding with Cyber Monday, we give thanks and then buy buy buy! While consumerism in and of itself is not wrong, it has seemed lately it gets harder and harder to hang onto the true spirit and meaning of the holidays. Giving Tuesday bookends the shopping frenzy in an effort to bring us back to being thankful for what we do have, and giving back in whatever way we can. To learn more about the #givingtuesday movement, visit their website at givingtuesday.org.

This year on Giving Tuesday (November 28th, mark your calendars!) Water to Thrive will kick off our new Drop by Drop Fund to offer an additional way to give back. Our 100% Promise has always been extremely important to us, which means that 100% of every dollar donated to water projects goes directly to those projects. This has meant that we’ve needed to maintain funding for operations through other avenues. With fundraising events such as Chef’s Table, as well as our Water Angel commitments, we’ve been so blessed by those who have given directly to the operations of Water to Thrive.

We understand that not everyone has the financial means to commit to becoming a Water Angel. So our goal with the Drop by Drop Fund is to offer anyone who feels led the opportunity to donate any amount to the operational costs of Water to Thrive. Or, if you’d like to take the next step, consider making a five-year pledge to the Drop by Drop Fund (contact Susanne Wilson for more info).  We’re not wavering from our 100% commitment. What we’ve found is that as we grow internally, we’re able to accomplish so much more than we ever dreamed in the rural communities of Africa. Every dollar invested in operations equates to a $7 water return for a village, and this opportunity to raise more money on the operational side will help us continue to do big work in the years to come.

To donate on Giving Tuesday, head to w2tgiving.org/giving-tuesday. You are helping us continue the important work of building wells and changing lives.

 

 

Village Campaign in Honor of the Reformation

 

The year seems to be flying by. If you’re anything like us, October seems to officially usher in Fall, and with that comes the knowledge that the Holidays are upon us and the year is quickly coming to a close. This year however, October has extra significance (apart from just the free candy we all look forward to). October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation of the church.

The beginning of the Reformation was triggered by the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517. This made clear that a relationship with God is accessible to the common man, sparking a breaking away from the old rules of religion. On the 500th anniversary of his act of conscientious defiance, it is important to take time and reflect on how that moment changed the world religiously, economically, politically, socially, and intellectually. Water To Thrive is excited to be hosting an exclusive, one-night showing of the new movie Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World. This will be the only screening happening in Austin, so check out our Facebook page to RSVP!

 

Thinking about so many people laboring under harsh and relentless conditions all those years ago, who rose up and sought revolution, got us thinking about how in some ways not that much has changed in 500 years. Experience tells us that change will continue to take place. Even when transformation brings challenges, God is at work. We invite you to join us in putting your faith in action to bring clean water to the Chare Dike Village in Ethiopia, in celebration of the anniversary of the Reformation. Chare Dike village members are faced with a decision each day we never would even consider. Do they want to stay close to home and collect drinking water from an unsafe, local river, or do they want mostly women and children to set out on a 3 hour walk to a protected spring source? The spring would provide safe water, but the walk is anything but safe. The journey also consumes valuable time that is needed for earning a living and attending school. Together we believe we can change this and build a well in the Chare Dike Village. To learn more about this village and to give directly to this campaign, click here.

 

However you, your friends, and families may be celebrating this historic event, we look forward to hearing stories, and taking part in remembering by giving back. God Bless!

 


 

 

The Gift of Mothers

We’re less than a week away from that special day every year where we pause and celebrate our moms. Hopefully, we’re remembering to do this constantly through the year as well, but it’s always nice to reflect, and say thank you. This year we wanted to honor all the mothers out there, starting with a few of our own. Here’s what Sussanne, W2T’s Executive Director, had to say about her mom:

“I credit my mother for believing in me and giving me the self confidence that I can accomplish anything I set out to achieve. We grew up in small town, Kentucky. My mother was a college graduate, had five children, ran a couple of little businesses and also assisted my father in running a farm with a 100 head of cattle and several crops.

“I remember her many words of wisdom including, ‘can’t never did anything’, and I believe my mother is responsible for my positive outlook on life and ability to see good all around me. I’m sure my mother made sacrifices I’m unaware of, like mothers do all over the world. It has been 8 years since she passed away. What I miss most is being able to pick up the phone and share our day, talk about current events, share stories and laugh. There is truly nothing that can replace the love of a mother.”

 

 

Jazzy, W2T’s Outreach and Communications Coordinator, had a similar sentiment to share when asked about her mom:

 

“Strong, creative, compassionate, inspiring, beautiful. These are just a few words that describe the woman who I am blessed to call my mother. In my short 23 years of life, she has been there for me through thick and thin - from moving across the country in 5th grade to going to prom, from the death of my brother and her son to graduating college Summa Cum Laude. She has been there. And not only has she witnessed all of this, but she’s walked with me through it. And the most incredible part? Some of my deepest valleys have also been hers, yet she still supports and loves me. Her strength is unfathomable. No matter the circumstances, she has given me a life filled with the love of Jesus. And honestly… What more could you ask for from a mother?”

 

 

Often times it isn’t until we’re older that we realize the many, and sometimes subtle ways, our mothers have guided, supported, loved, and directed us through life. Motherhood is universal, and this Mother's Day, we want to help celebrate mothers with our community in Ethiopia. In the rural communities where we work, women are the backbone of their societies. They carry the burden of collecting water, cooking, cleaning, and watching after the children every single day. Without these strong women, these communities would fall apart.

You may remember from our World Water Day Blog that just $70 provides water to a family in rural east Africa for at least 20 years. Starting today, through Mother’s Day (this Sunday, May 14th) consider making a contribution towards Water to Thrive in honor, or in memory of, your own mom, grandmother, or mother figure in your life. Every dollar is going directly to people across the globe to better their families, communities and quality of life. Your donations will help provide clean water to these villages, the implications of which reach far beyond what we can imagine. With the time saved from not having to gather water, these women will have more time for income-generating hobbies, be able to cook healthier meals with cleaner water, have more energy to look after the children, and make time for much needed rest.

As an added blessing for this campaign, one of our Water Angels has agreed to anonymously MATCH all donations for our Mother's Day campaign up to $5,000 - so your donations will make twice the impact. To donate, please visit our campaign page on our website, and to all the moms out there from all of us at Water to Thrive, thank you for all you do. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Thank You!

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We wanted to pause for a moment to say thanks to everyone who contributed to Amplify Austin this year. Whether you donated, shared our posts, talked to your friends, or helped us fundraise in other ways, we thank you. With the funds raised during the 24-hour Amplify event, we were able to match the funds the 5th grade class at UT Elementary School had already raised, and fully fund their well!!

 

As always, the additional donations received have been put toward the funding of future wells, dedicated to the donors of Amplify Austin 2017. We’re so thankful for the support we continue to receive and all that each of you do to help us continue to provide clean water in these remote communities. Because we have been blessed by you, we are able to bless others. So, again, thank you.

 

 

 

Mother's Day 2016

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Mother's Day

In the countries we serve, the burden of water literally falls on the shoulders of women and mothers. When a community lacks clean, safe water, the women of the village must trek for miles to find a water source, then carry home a heavy jerry can filled with dirty water. Too often, their children make the trek with them. Far too often, their children suffer waterborne diseases from the tainted water source. But when Water to Thrive is able to place a water project in a village, everything changes. The water source is just minutes away. The water itself runs clean and pure. Mothers are able to turn their attention to other needs of their family, finding ways to supplement the family income and delivering their children to school.

This Mother's Day, give your mother the gift of changing another mother's life. Join our Mother's Day campaign. Every $500 we raise will bring the blessing of clean, safe water to 50 mothers in rural Africa. Whether you give a little or a lot, your gift to the mothers in your life will make a tremendous difference in the lives of those other mothers. Donate here and download a special Mother's Day Card here

 

#ChangeLives Campaign - Mityana Charity

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#ChangeLives Campaign

 

 

 

At Water to Thrive, we get the privilege to partner with local NGOs to implement our water work. By working with partners who are familiar with the countries and the communities in which we implement work, we are able to better understand the water need, the best ways to address it, and we are able to work efficiently and effectively to construct sustainable water wells.

One of our on-the-ground partners is Mityana Charity. Mityana Charity is based in Uganda and its mission is to “support and positively contribute to the lives of vulnerable Ugandans to attain full recognition in the society, through provision of Education Support, Poverty Relief Initiatives, Health systems Strengthening, Human Rights Awareness and embracing Christian Values.”

Mityana has a wide-range of specialties, and water is at the top of the list. They bring in local partners who know the geological and hydrological ins and outs, the land and villages, and the people so that together we are able to #ChangeLives in the communities where we work.

Want to help us #ChangeLives ? Contribute to our eight-week #ChangeLives campaign here. Put #ChangeLives in the "In honor of" box.

 

#ChangeLives

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#ChangeLives

 

Yesterday was World Water Day, which this year observed the theme of water and work. 

Here at Water to Thrive, we celebrated World Water Day by launching our ‪#‎ChangeLives‬ campaign. In the next eight weeks, we want to inspire 100 donors to give at least $50 each to support the foundation of our mission ... to support water and work.

As World Water Day made clear yesterday, water is work. In our case, water provides jobs for those who build our actual wells in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda. Having a well for clean, safe water in a village frees women from the burden of walking miles each day, giving them the time to develop enterprises to support their families, buy school supplies for their children, and to find dignity in their lives. To ensure the quality and sustainability of our work in Ethiopia, we employ an Ethiopian project manager, who strengthens our oversight and our partnerships there and who, by virtue of being Ethiopian, fully understands the importance of our work. Finally, we provide work here in Austin for a small team of committed, dedicated employees who are an essential part of our mission.

Usually we come to you asking for gifts that will allow us to build wells. We are proud of our "100 percent pledge" that all donations designated for water go to water. This campaign is only a little bit different. Every dollar we raise for operations allows us to invest seven dollars in water projects. Operations are the support structure, here in Austin and on the ground in Africa, that allows us to spread the word about our mission, engage our donors, work with our partners, identify our water projects, and then ultimately to build wells and change lives. 

This is important enough to the life of the organization that we have a dedicated group of supporters, Water Angels, who give $1,000 a year specifically for operations. As part of the #ChangeLives campaign, we've set a goal of motivating one person each week to become a new Water Angel. 

To give, please go to watertothrive.org/donate. Check the "in honor of" button and put "#ChangeLives" in the space provided, and your gift will make the work of providing clean water and changing lives a reality. 

To become a Water Angel, whether as an individual or part of a group or business, please contact us directly through a message here or an e-mail to Executive Director Susanne Wilson at susanne at watertothrive dot org. 

To help spread the word about our #ChangeLives campaign, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Every Wednesday, we'll mark ‪#‎WaterWednesday‬with a campaign update and more information about our work and our needs. And please, share our posts. Let your friends know about our mission, and this opportunity to strengthen our foundation. 

 

Blessed and Impressed

We have been so blessed and impressed by our supporters…all over the world!  It’s time to highlight some ways others are spreading awareness and raising funds for Water to Thrive.  Hopefully they inspire you as much as they’ve inspired us.
 
in2aqua is a water faucet company headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.  in2aqua reached out to Water to Thrive a couple of months ago, wanting to support our mission.  Now, a portion of every in2aqua purchase benefits W2T!  Visit their website today to learn more about in2aqua, read their blog and check out our relationship.  THANK YOU in2aqua!
 
 
 
Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas is another supporter we want to highlight.  Take a couple of minutes to read the letter (below) they are sending to their members this week.  THANK YOU Christ the King Lutheran Church!
 
Dear Members and Friends,
 
All members and friends are invited to participate in Water Only Week this week, August 25-31.   We ask that you drink only water during the week and contribute what you would normally spend on coffee, soft drinks, juice, etc. to Water to Thrive, a grassroots ministry that provides fresh water wells in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.  And just in case you can’t give up your coffee or tea, simply add up how much you spend a week on drinks and donate that amount to our mission offering on August 31. Going to be out of town this Labor Day weekend?  No problem.  You can mail in or drop off your contribution to the church office.  Just make your check out to Christ the King Church and earmark it for WOW or W2T.
 
Additionally, this Sunday Rita Carlson and Dorothy Chesley will give a presentation on Water to Thrive for Sunday Forum at 9:45 a.m. in the basement classroom. Rita and Dorothy traveled to Ethiopia with W2T in the summer of 2011, visiting the people in villages where water wells had been completed or were projected. They also traveled to historic Ethiopian Orthodox Church sites and the Mekane Jesus Evangelical Lutheran Church. Rita (a new member of Christ the King Church) and Dorothy are retired RN's, engaged in several volunteer activities including the Texas Health Ministries Network.
 
Every 15 seconds, a child dies from drinking contaminated and disease-filled water. Only 1 in 3 rural Africans has access to clean, safe water.  For more information, check out www.watertothrive.org.
 
Grace and Peace,
Christ the King Lutheran Church
 

We are so blessed and impressed by every Water to Thrive supporter.  How will you make a difference? 

Matching Campaign for Schools

Does your school want to fund a Water to Thrive well, but need help reaching the $5,000 goal? Read more on our matching fund program!
 
This special matching-dollars program is for schools embarking on their first well campaign with Water to Thrive. Each school must:
 
1) Submit an application to Lizzie Kovach, Marketing and Outreach Manager in advance.  Contact lizzie@watertothrive.org for an application.
2) When approved by Lizzie, she will inform your school of available matching funds currently available and provide fundraising ideas for your campaign.
3) Each school can receive up to a maximum of $1,500.00 match dollars. $3,500.00 dollars raised by the school, matched at $1,500.00 from generous donors…for a total of $5,000.00.
4) Matches will only be made when schools send their portion of the funds to W2T.
 
In order to perpetuate this campaign we also seek donors who have a heart to encourage students. If you are open to supporting schools in this mission, please reach out to Lizzie Kovach (lizzie@watertothrive.org). Your donation can help motivate others. 

 

  

Communities in Africa benefit from the matching fund program, but so do our donors and supporters! 

"I taught school for 36 years, and one of the biggest highlights of those 36 years was the funding of the well by our third grade classes in partnership with my church. It was unbelievably gratifying to help children begin to understand a bit about the global water crisis and then help then move into the next step and see that their involvement could make a difference in the life of a child(ren). My hope was for them to see beyond themselves into a larger world -- one that needed to be served--and then actually step up and serve. Thanks so much for lighting the fire in our church that set things in motion for our third graders to take on this service learning project." --W2T supporter

 

Water to Thrive: Campaign Spotlight

Another community in Africa is going to have clean water! A special thanks goes out to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Schroeder, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Ander, and Zion Lutheran Church in Arneckville for teaming up to provide clean water for many in need!
 
These churches collected offerings at their joint Lenten services this year- and they collected a total of $5, 189.95! We are so thankful to have partnerships with congregations who help us provide others with the most basic need- water
 
Read this article to learn more about this campaign! (Having an article published about your current campaign, or when your campaign is complete is a GREAT way to spread the word about the water crisis and your good work!)
 
http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2014/jul/08/cn_water_thrive_donation_062814_243074/
 
If you’re interested in starting a campaign on your own, or with your congregation, email team@watertothrive.org. We would love to discuss possible partnership with you!”
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