When I lived in Nepal, clean drinking water was not easily accessible. Fortunately, in Kathmandu, there were options. Most of the members of my team bought disposable water bottles throughout our three month stay. I don’t remember who thought of it, but for Christmas my parents gave me an REI model backpacking pump. I would fill the sink in my bathroom each day and pump water into Nalgene bottles. I would then fill smaller bottles to take on the road. It became part of my daily morning ritual, and after a while I didn’t think too much about the added time in the morning.
When I returned home, it took a couple weeks to get over the novelty of simply turning on the tap for a glass of water. I had assumed the wonder would wear of more quickly, but I did pause and wonder each time I so easily accessed water.
The summer of Bea’s first birthday, we introduced her to an important Colorado accessory: The water bottle. She adored her “big girl” water bottles and one of her first phrases was “Stay hydrated!” Especially living at a higher elevation, drinking enough water throughout the day is a necessity. Even the phrase, stay hydrated! shows our privilege. We can drink water for exercise, to stay healthy, if we have an itch in our throats. Our pets have access to clean, filtered drinking water. We even pour water down the drain for a fresh glass. Water is consumed without thought.
I think most of us in wealthy countries with access to regulated drinking water in our own homes realize that privilege. We see the effects of water-bourne illness each year during Christmas campaigns to sponsor children. Many of us have participated in well building fundraisers. Sometimes, I wonder, Another fundraiser?! How many wells need to be built?
The answer? Many more! According to water.org, 840,000 people die each year from a water related disease. Every minute, a child dies from a water related disease. 1 in 9 people lack access to safe drinking water. The numbers continue…. The answer? We still need to help build wells, to help give others access to the water we take for granted.
A few weeks ago, The Mom Quilt, a collection of essays written by women about motherhood was launched. Its goal is to raise $40,000 by Thanksgiving to build a well for the mothers living at Mercy House Kenya, a home for teen moms. Currently, water is trucked in from miles away, making the moms and staff at Mercy House dependent on outside sources for their daily water needs. A well on the property would eliminate the time, expense, and stress of waiting for water delivery.
To help alleviate this stress and to assist in freeing up this expense so that Mercy House can focus its money on other necessary resources, Paula Rollo, Becky Mansfield, and Jodi Durr decided to compile a collection of essays to raise money for this cause. (My essay is Gracefully Messy Motherhood.)
Each ebook is $9.99, though you can choose to donate more at checkout. A PDF copy will be emailed to you and you can choose to read it directly on your computer or, if you have a Kindle, can convert it to your e-reader. After the $40,000 is raised, there are thoughts to sell it as a “regular” book, but for now, we want as many dollars to go to the women at Mercy House. By selling it in a PDF format, 100% of the proceeds go to building this well.
So, will you consider partnering with us to help Mercy House? The gift of accessible water is invaluable.