Changing Lives with Charity and Water
“Every time you take a sip of clean water, someone dies of unclean water somewhere in the world.” That’s the profound statement that stirs the heart of Bluefield College student J.D. Taylor.
So much so, he’s doing something about it through the help of charity: water, a non-profit organization designed to bring clean, safe drinking water to underprivileged people in developing countries. In fact, Taylor is challenging the entire Bluefield College family to join him in the cause.
For as long as he can remember, Taylor, a rising senior biology major who plans to attend medical school after BC, has had a passion for missions and ministry. He has served on mission projects in South Africa, Namibia, Peru, Italy, and New York City. He also has participated in street evangelism, after-school programs, praise and worship gatherings, and countless other service projects through his church and BC.
Lately, it’s charity: water Taylor has been sinking his passion into. After hearing during a leadership conference about the plight of people without clean, safe water in disadvantaged villages around the world, Taylor discovered charity: water and how that organization is addressing the need.
charity: water funds a range of water technologies for those in need, including hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater catchments, and BioSand filters. To date, the charity has funded 6,185 projects, providing clean water to more than 2.5 million needy people in villages, clinics, schools and other facilities around the world.
And, according to charity: water, a clean water project within a village provides more than safe drinking water. It protects the people from disease and gives them the freedom they need to change their community. In fact, diseases from unsafe water kill more people every year than all forms of violence. And, in Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for clean water.
“Having such a profound impact on not only a village’s water system, but their hygiene, life expectancy, income, educational opportunities, and overall standard of living is a chance very few people get,” said Taylor, who is a member of BC’s Student Government Association, Residence Life staff, and men’s varsity tennis team. “What an incredible thought -- knowing that we as a campus community were able to change an entire way of life for a group of people.”
Taylor’s goal: raise $5,000 to build a water well in a needy village. To get there, he has written letters to students, faculty, and staff, inviting them to get involved. He’s created a fundraising portal on the charity: water web site. And, he has distributed rice bowl piggy banks to students, encouraging them to save their spare change for the cause. He’s also planning a Mr. BC pageant, sports fundraising tournaments, and a benefit concert.
To double the impact, Taylor has partnered with the Alan Moorefield Charitable Foundation, who agreed to match his $5,000. In other words, if Taylor meets the $5,000 goal, the Moorefield Foundation will contribute another $5,000 to build not just one, but two water wells.
“The thought of providing not just one, but two villages in desperate need of water will be an amazing experience,” said Taylor, “giving our campus the pride and satisfaction of knowing we’ve given such an incredible need to others, who otherwise wouldn’t have had their needs met.”
Taylor, who also serves as a worship leader for convocation and BC’s weekly praise session Elevate, said his involvement in missions at the college has helped him grow spiritually and strengthened his relationship with Christ. This particular mission, he said, has helped him realize the value of sharing God’s love and fulfilling the need to be a part of something larger than ourselves.
“Bluefield College has given me so many resources and opportunities to live my passion,” said Taylor. “I honestly feel no other campus could have enabled me to bring this thing into the light. Having the chance to do so much with something I’m passionate about is a huge deal. It’s now up to me, those involved in event planning, and the student body to help this passion become a reality.”
For more information about charity: water, visit www.charitywater.org.