There is a moment in the classic cartoon “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” when the guests arrive and see the results of all of the hard work Charlie Brown and Snoopy and Woodstock have put in… a table set with buttered toast, jellybeans, and popcorn. Faces fall. Fussing ensues.

And there is a moment at nearly every celebration of a new water project in Ethiopia, in the midst of singing and dancing and prayer, when a large tray of popcorn is presented as a gesture of hospitality and thanks. There are smiles all around. Good feelings abound.

At Charlie Brown’s table, the festivities fall apart with disappointment and indignation until the friends remember what matters. In Ethiopia, the community already knows full well what matters.

What matters in Ethiopia, and in Uganda and Tanzania, is the blessing of clean, safe water, which itself leads to the further blessings of health, education, and economic independence.

As we gather together to count our blessings and give thanks, let us remember this one simple gift, and all it brings, all of which we tend to take for granted. Water. Health. Education. Independence.

We have been working hard to help bring those blessings for 10 years now, and are closing in on funding for well number 1000. During the Thanksgiving holiday, you will hear from us with reminders about Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving when we turn from turkey and television and sales and shopping to remember others.

On Giving Tuesday, we will be raising money for our Dig Deep initiative, adding as many wells to our count as you can help us provide. For each $5000 we raise for a water project, we will raise an additional 10 percent for our Drop by Drop Fund, the bucket for operational costs that allows us to sustain our mission into the future.

You can make your gift at any time between now and next week by visiting our Giving Tuesday page. If you want to do even more, you’ll find links there that help you launch a water campaign of your own or find one of a friend or congregation.

Here in our hometown of Austin just a month ago, when flooding overwhelmed our city water treatment plants, we learned in real time what it means to think about your water every day. Not a turn of the faucet has gone by since then that we are not mindful of what it means to have simple, even thoughtless access to clean, safe water.

On Thanksgiving, join us as we count that blessing high among our gratitudes, and on Giving Tuesday, help us continue our work of bringing that blessing to others.

Happy Thanksgiving, with popcorn and gratitude,
from Water to Thrive