It’s that time of year again – winter is wrapping up, spring is approaching… and World Water Day is almost here! On March 22, we’ll be celebrating the second World Water Day in this abnormal reality that the pandemic has brought. But this is far from the second time we’ve been a part of this important event! So let’s take a look back at how we’ve shared this day and the stories of communities for whom our partners have provided clean water in years past!
We started off our World Water Day blogs in 2014 with a bang, because our co-founder Jena Lee Nardella was pregnant with her first child and expecting any day. Her little boy Jude brought new meaning to her eyes about how important it is for young children to have clean water, since they are more vulnerable to water-borne illness. Today she also has a little girl named Haven, and while they are grateful to not have to worry about something like clean water, they continue to fight to make sure that children in sub-Saharan Africa receive that human right.
Next Charlie Lowell of Jars of Clay told the story of one of his visits to Kenya. There, he and the band met a woman named Dorkas, and she told them about how something as simple as clean water changed her life, her whole family, and her community’s future in astonishing ways. Last, here are some water facts we shared for many who were celebrating World Water Day for the first time!
In 2015, we kicked off our H2ONLY campaign, where we asked everyone to drink only water for the day to get a deeper understanding of how important water is in all of our lives on a fundamental level. And since we were focused on providing three villages in southern Rwanda with clean water, we asked everyone to give whatever they felt called to in order to provide this needed resource!
We also shared some of the really amazing projects we got to be a part of in years past, marking over a million people receiving clean water as a result of our partnerships! And because of so many generous gifts and efforts, we were able to raise $8,000 on that day alone, in addition to unlocking a new grant as a result of our Save a Drink, Save a Life campaign!
In 2016, we started out by taking inventory of some of the things Blood:Water had already accomplished to provide clean water in sub-Saharan Africa, and the reasons why we must continue to fight. We also held our fundraiser to drink only water and donate what you would have spent on other beverages to our mission, this year called the Take a Water Challenge.
Dan Haseltine, our co-founder and leader singer of Jars of Clay, wrote a very compelling blog about why we celebrate World Water Day, something that was brought home to us in a personal way with the revelation of the impact that inadequate water had on the community of Flint, Michigan.
And while we absolutely must remember those who have still been left behind, we should also celebrate the amazing strides our partners have made in ensuring thousands more people won’t have to live wondering whether they will have clean water or not. So we were able to partner up with our local radio station here in Nashville, Lightning 100, to get together, play music, and raise money and awareness for our partners to be able to do even more life-changing work!
2017 was the first year we expanded our water challenge even further, asking you to give up all beverages for twenty days leading up to World Water Day. Since we introduced the challenge a few days before the Super Bowl, we even shared some fun and interesting figures about what it would mean for someone like a professional football player to go without clean water.
Once the H:20 challenge started, we shared a few basic reasons why joining would make a huge difference and why it was important to do so. Finally, on World Water Day, Dan teamed up with Dr. Jenny Eaton Dyer to tell the story of Mary, who thanks to our partner no longer had to use dirty water from a nearby river and had learned life-saving hygiene practices, and was now employed in making biosand filters for her community. It is a very amazing story, and they also provided a very thoughtful look into the US’s position in the global water crisis and how to get involved.
In 2018, we had a couple different options for people looking to get involved in World Water Day and provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions. We emphasized our KIDDO campaign which gives kids an opportunity to raise money in their own way for kids in sub-Saharan Africa. We also had a couple really exciting partnerships with some social enterprises from whom you could both receive some cool stuff and support extremely important causes.
In 2019, we focused our World Water Day campaign communications on our email subscribers, so we didn’t put out any World Water Day blogs that year. But needless to say, 2020 took the cake for the most unique World Water Day, given the emergence of COVID-19. However, we were still able to dive deeper into the water crisis, how we are committed to fighting it, and the work we can still do with you to provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people than ever before. One of the best examples of the holistic, comprehensive work our partners do is that of the Chifenthe Preschool in Malawi, where because of you, countless more children will now be able to live on and receive their educations.
So this year, we are asking you to step into our work again.
A generous donor has offered to match all gifts up to $25,000, and we invite you to join us in reaching our goal to provide water to 1,250 more children. There are countless stories of all the people our partners have helped through their work already, and together we can push the boundaries of how many more we can help than ever before.
P.S. Don’t forget we are also currently in the middle of our 40 Days of Water campaign, which this year, includes a special, free Lenten devotional just for you! Click here to get your copy today.