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Helping Others Locally and Globally

Spring 2011 is just beginning to take hold in many parts of the US, pushing cold and wet away, and bringing flowers and green grass.  With it, spring brings encouragement and hope of things new.  In the last week we’ve heard about two families that are bringing hope and encouragement, like spring, to more than a village in Africa.  They are bringing it to one another as well.

At Rockford High School, Junior Makenzie Connor (‘Kenzie’ to friends and family) doesn’t just do good for others 7000 miles away from Rockford… she does good for people in her own backyard.


One Person’s Loss is Another’s Gain

We got a great email a few weeks ago from Stephen Lasky, Vice President of Business Planning and Analysis at Sephora.  Stephen had undertaken a huge goal that would result in better health for himself and provide an inspiration to Sephora employees.  Being the ‘others’ minded person that Stephen is, he wanted to tie that accomplishment to a cause … the cause of bringing clean, safe water to those without.  We could try to tell Stephen’s story, but why not read it directly from Stephen himself …

“In August of 2009 after a lifetime of battling obesity, I had a moment of clarity that the time had come.  At 5’5” and 251 pounds I started a journey to change my life. At that time I was taking medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol, and gout.  In September of 2010, 13 months after I began my journey I had dropped 100 pounds and was free from all medications.  It was in September 2010 that I tried for the first time in my life to run a mile without stopping.  After running for 5 minutes on the treadmill I felt pretty good and was encouraged to keep going…15 minutes later I had run my first mile.  One month later I decided I needed closure to the process I started a year earlier; that closure would be signing up for a ½ marathon.


Northwest Girlchoir Sings for Water with Beautiful Results

For 38 years, the Northwest Girlchoir ( has championed extraordinary music education and performance opportunities for girls and young women.  This month, in honor of World Water Day 2011, the choral organization championed something else … clean water.  From concerts performed in two locations in the Seattle, Washington area, the choir’s Artistic Director, Sara Boos, decided that the groups would put their artistic talents to work to fund clean water projects, one internationally (in Africa), and one locally (toward Puget Sound’s clean-up).


Just because I’m 8 years old doesn’t mean I can’t do this

Winn Murray is an 8 year old boy in Macon, Georgia who is changing lives … not only in Africa where his fund raising efforts will bring clean water, but right in his home town.  In fact, Winn’s simple but bold act of caring has inspired  7 more schools in Macon to get involved.  In fact to date, we’ve sent out over 1,000 wristbands that proclaim “I’m Giving Water!” to these schools … wrist bands just like Winn and his classmates wore in early March when they carried water for a day to raise awareness and support for clean water.

You can support Winn’s Fundraiser here »

Michelle Gowan, Winn’s REACH teacher, shared with us, “This year, our curriculum focus has been infusing technology into our discussions of scarcity of food, energy and water around the world. When we studied the inequitable distribution of resources around the world, my class decided to purchase a goat to send to an African family. They collected about $130 by doing extra chores and we donated the goat through World Vision. When I began my lessons on water, I really had no intention of building a well because it was difficult enough for us to get enough to buy a goat!”  But Mrs. Gowan wasn’t counting on Winn!  He decided to do something.  The issues of unclean water resonated with him, and he started his own hometown revolution. (more…)