Opinion: One week, one well: Can ya’ dig it?

Last year, a small group learned of the great need for safe drinking water for many in our world. They were startled by the statistic that 26,575 children die daily due to circumstances of their poverty. They learned that nearly half of these deaths are due to drinking water that is unsafe. Then they learned that digging a deep well costs nearly $15,000, roughly $1 per citizen of Elk River. So they decided to rally the city of Elk River to give up one of their favorite beverages during one week each year and donate the cost of that drink. They anticipated that three things could happen to the participants:

1. They would grow in gratitude for our easy access to clean water,

2. They would build “community” in Elk River as they work together for a common goal,

3. And best of all, they would change the futures of 100s of people.

So, they asked Elk River “Can ya’ dig it?” last May — and Elk River responded overwhelmingly! The One Week: One Well efforts not only raised enough money to dig one well in southern Sudan, but also to repair a well in Karaba, Rwanda — a village in which many Elk River citizens sponsor orphans through World Vision.

Here are excerpts from a letter sent from a mother in Karaba last year:

“It is very amazing and surprising. This is so great because your gifts will soon benefit at least one hundred families of our community. These families have a common problem of lacking safe water.”

So Elk River, let’s do it again! Collections will begin at participating businesses and churches the week of May 1–8. You many also drop off any contributions to The Bank of Elk River. Checks should be made payable to “One Week: One Well.”

Also, join us for a walk in solidarity to raise awareness on Thursday, April 21 at 11:30. We will meet at Orono Park, near the beach to fill jugs with water, and carry them a mile.

For more information for how you can get your friends or organization involved, call 763-234-4567. — Jill Pouliot, Elk River

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