Dedicated Donors: Julie Transformed Her Curiosity About the World into a Force for Good

Wednesday, August 16th, 2023

Julie found The Water Project (TWP) through her curiosity about the world.

Many people in wealthier countries don’t know that so many people have to struggle to source water for their households every day. Until recently, Julie was one of these people.

As soon as she learned about the water crisis and how it affects people worldwide, she knew she had to act.

TWP: What led you to The Water Project?

Julie: Well, I had been on a number of virtual tours of Africa. I became quite interested in Uganda, in particular, through one of the tour guides who showed us a water hole where the local community got their water. It was particularly interesting to me because I saw all the children coming down to the water hole, dunking buckets into the unhygienic water and carrying the buckets back up the hill to their homes. To see children of five years old doing this, and to think about what was happening to the health of the community because of the condition of the water…that was just unacceptable to me.

Another thing I noticed about the watering hole was that there was a ‘ring’ about ten feet away from and around the hole. I asked about this, and the tour guide explained that was where the water line was a year ago. For the water to go down so much in such a short time was horrifying to me. Water is an essential need for all living beings. To think that these people barely had any water, the level of the water was significantly lower than it had been even the previous year, and the water was filthy…well, there was only one thing I could do.

I began Googling and asking everyone I knew about what I could do about this utterly unacceptable situation. I learned about The Water Project, and I learned that a relatively small amount of money could do great good in Africa. If I gave $5,000 to a program here, it would be a pittance for that American program, but if I donated that to a legitimate program in Africa, it could do a whole heck of a lot of good. The decision to donate as much as I could was very easy at that point.


TWP: How do you feel when you receive a project report from us?    

Julie: I am glad that I have been able to help. I am proud of my son, who accepted with understanding and joy that I would be donating as much money as I could so that others would have water. I feel relieved that someone is trying to do something good for people who are in such need.

TWP: What do you get out of your donations? 

Julie: I get a sense of accomplishment, I suppose. I mostly feel gratitude that I had the money to donate, that the amount of money could go very far, and I want to donate more.

TWP: How would you describe your life goals? How does giving to help others access clean water fit with your life’s mission?

Julie: Who I am is a person who does what I can to help others who could use a helping hand. I do that through my diet (being vegan); through my parenting (I adopted children who had special health needs); [and] through my way of life (I donate my time, energy, material goods, and money), believing we all have a responsibility to each other. 

TWP: What would you say to someone considering donating to The Water Project?

Julie: Do it. If you have enough for your own needs and wants, there is no reason to keep money in an account, and there is every reason to help others who are in severe distress. Imagine not having enough water! Just imagine that. Notice how often you use water. Realize others probably don’t have a thousandth the amount of water you use in a day. That is just nuts.

Money is meant to help us and to help others. There’s just no other purpose for it. For many of us, our money is actually just a digit on a piece of paper. It does no one any good by sitting there. The only way it’s helpful is if you use it for good. Do that. Use it for good. Remember that even a $100 donation is helpful in Africa. It’s worth so much more there. Do it. It will feel good, and it will do good.

Like Julie, each of our donors is that special kind of person who sees a problem in the world—one that impacts so many people—and takes action to help. 

If you feel compelled to do something about the water crisis, please take a few minutes to read about the schools, communities, and health centers waiting for a source of clean, reliable water. If it’s within your means, you can also make a general donation—and we’ll apply it to the project with the most need.

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Jamie Heminway

Jamie is a storyteller by nature. In joining the Water Project, she’s finally found a workplace where that pesky bleeding heart of hers can be put to use (and, less importantly, that BA in English Language & Literature from New England College).