Christmas Day, 2011
Victor Hugo made the observation that
“Nothing else in the world...not all the armies...is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
I saw the proof of that this Christmas Morning.
When I left Peru in September, I promised myself that the children of Maras, Urubamba, Peru would have clean drinking water not only in their school, but also in their homes, so that they could rid themselves of the parasites in their bodies. The children represented approximately 50 families. If our group of 12 health tourists could find sponsors for 50 water filters at $30 each, we could ensure that every child in this school always had clean water to drink. I knew this could be done. But I had no idea how fast this could happen.
I designed the gift card above, which could be used to make donations of water filters or to obtain donations from others. The card would be used this holiday season to raise funds. I ran this card past John Mundy, an employee of ProPeru, the agency that supported us during our visit in August. During that visit we built healthy cookstoves, fluorided the teeth of children, and promoted the simple ceramic water filters that could remove more than 99 percent of pathogens from drinking water.
John informed me that ProPeru was in the process of creating a Web site where such donations could be possible. The site became functional in early December, with an objective of sponsoring 250 filters for 250 families in Peru and Ghana. The amount to be raised would be $7,500.
This far exceeded my objective, which was to simply outfit all the families of Maras school children with filters, at a cost of approximately 1,500.
This morning, when I visited the Web site, I learned that in just a couple weeks, the objective had already been exceeded, with one individual accounting for more than two thirds of the targeted $7,500. His personal objective is to raise twice the original goal. Right behind this rain maker was my friend, John Mundy, who had met twice his personal objective of $500.
Clearly, this is an idea that resonated – it was an idea whose time has come.
By most standards in the world, we are incredibly wealthy. But regardless of all the material wealth we possess, one of the greatest demonstrations of this wealth is the ability to pour ourselves a clean glass of water from a tap. This is a wealth we can all afford to share.
Instead of buying more “stuff” for my friends this holiday season, I made purchases in their names -- water filters for the children of Maras.
If you want to join me this holiday season in helping individuals in third world countries have clean water to drink, I invite you to come to my personal Web page hosted by Pro World, the parent company for ProPeru. We’ve already exceeded our goal of having enough donations to serve all the Maras children – and a lot more children in Peru and Ghana. But ProWorld’s objective of 250 filters is only a beginning. There are many, many other families in Peru and Ghana who would benefit from clean water. If you want to give, don't be dissuaded by the fact that the objective has been met. There are mountains yet to climb.
If you have decided you want to participate, you can go to my Web page at http://www.stayclassy.org/fundraise?fcid=179711. You will know you are on the right page when you see this graphic:
You can easily make a donation in any denomination. I started my page with the purchase of a single filter for $30.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this.