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Often times, we find that the biggest hearts and wisest souls are in our youngest volunteers. Winston was packaging meals with Stop Hunger Now Richmond when she learned about our partnership with Wine to Water. Immediately, the wheels started turning. Read on to learn about this one girl’s amazing drive to bring clean, safe water to the developing world.

What led you to become passionate about water?

I became interested in the Global Water Crisis when a representative from the Stop Hunger Now Richmond organization came to my school for a food packaging event. He showed us a Sawyer water filter.I was amazed when he said that if every person in the room donated $1.00, we would be able buy two water filters, which would provide clean water for 200 people for ten years. I decided to create a Global Youth Service Day project called Water for the World to raise money to donate to Stop Hunger Now for water filters.GYSD April 2014 002

Why did you choose to support Wine to Water?

I was amazed that Wine to Water has distributed so many water filters around the world. I learned that since 2004, the Wine to Water organization has provided 250,000 people with clean water, installed 500 wells, and distributed 25,000 water filters.

What’s your favorite aspect about partnering with Stop Hunger Now?

My favorite aspect about working with Mike Nelson at the Stop Hunger Now Richmond warehouse is that he is so supportive and enthusiastic. Any time I ask for his help or to borrow a demonstration water filter to display, he doesn’t hesitate to say ‘yes.’ He was so excited when I brought him the check for all the donations I had collected.

How did you raise the money for the filters?

I raised money many ways. I created a GoFundMe page and linked it to my mother’s Facebook page, so that all of her many friends would see my project. I raised $295 that way.Presenting the money

On Global Youth Service Day, April 12, 2014, I distributed free water bottles and a trifold brochure I had created about the Sawyer water filters and accepted donations for my Water for the World project a local shopping center. I received $82 in donations that day.

My grandmother has distributed my brochure to people in her church and they have donated $200. Other donations have come from friends and relatives I spoke to individually about my project.

I plan to continue my Water for the World project year-round. Recently, I have begun selling friendship bracelets that I have made and donating 70% of the proceeds to my project.

The Vacation Bible School directors at my grandmother’s church have decided to donate all of the offerings brought in by the children that week to my project. Their goal is to collect enough money to purchase one filter. I am going to make a presentation to each class of children on the opening night of Bible School so that they know that their offering will help many people.

As of June, I have raised over $900. My goal is to raise $1,000 – enough for 10 water filters. (Editor’s note: At the time of writing, Winston has sponsored 11 filters.)

Why do you believe the water crisis deserves our attention?

When I did research for my project storyboard, I discovered from Wine to Water that “the water crisis and poor sanitation affect 2.5 billion people worldwide — women and children are among the most affected. An estimated 200 million hours each day are spent collecting water that is oftentimes contaminated. Water-related disease kills 1 child every 21 seconds. Water is essential to life. Without it, we cease to exist.”

Clean water is a catalyst for development. It opens the door to proper health, increased income and the chance at an education. Follow Winston’s lead in providing these opportunities to families and communities in need by reaching out to your local Stop Hunger Now Program Manager to ask how you can build a Wine to Water filter for a home, school or orphanage. Not only does each filter provide 295 gallons of fresh water every day for a decade, but it provides safety, opportunity, income, health and, best of all, the chance at a full life. Haiti-22

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