Water gives and sustains life.
For World Water Day (March 22, 2017), we are highlighting the Overflowing Generosity activity from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Millions of people around the world lack convenient access to clean water, and must fetch water for daily living from a well or other water source. Gifts made through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog help health, productivity, and hope in these communities spring forth—just as surely as clean water.
For thousands of years, people have come together and built community around their water sources. It’s in this spirit that the Overflowing Generosity activity acts as a community-building experience for your congregation or small group. By gifting water-related items in the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, your community can come together to provide access to clean, safe, and life-giving water for those who need it. Gifts made through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog help health, productivity, and hope in these communities spring forth—just as surely as clean water.
Read a few examples of communities changed by gifts of water to the Presbyterian Giving Catalog below.
For years, citizens in Flint, Michigan, have been trying to bring awareness to high levels of lead leaching into their water supply from aging pipes. In late 2015, news broke nationally of just how bad the crisis was—stories of the thousands of residents who have already experienced health issues due to lead poisoning—stories of government corruption and cover-up.
But also, there are stories of citizens coming together to help one another and stories of relief pouring into the city of Flint as organizations provide water supplies, filters, and crisis counseling centers.
With a long history of community involvement, First Presbyterian Church of Flint (FPCF) has become a trusted refuge for community members seeking relief from the crisis. With support from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, members from FPCF and the Presbytery of Lake Huron have been on the ground assisting in distributing emergency water supplies, representing their community on the local recovery committee, and supporting the spiritual care and reconciliation in a community that feels betrayed.
The news cameras have all pulled out, but the crisis is expected to continue for years while the government updates the city’s water system. With continued support from fellow Presbyterians and the Presbyterian Mission Agency, FPCF intends to play a key role in restoring their community.
In the Hohoe Municipality of Ghana, over 400 children die each year from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities. Almost two-thirds of households have no toilet. One in five persons has no access to safe water. Women and children spend so much time fetching water, there is little opportunity to do anything else.
The Presbyterian Hunger Program Advisory Committee recently awarded a grant to a Ghanian non-profit organization to construct three hand-dug wells, distribution outlet pipes, and storage tanks to provide clean water to more than 4,000 people in Hohoe. Training and education will also be provided, and a local task force made up primarily of women will oversee the implementation of the wells. A representative of the non-profit partner describes the difference the wells can make, saying, “Child morbidity will change. Poor farmers and wage earners will become more productive due to good health associated with water and sanitation available to them. Their economic state will be enhanced. It will promote the eradication of elements in traditional, political, and cultural beliefs, practices, and stereotypes, which legitimize and exacerbate the persistence and tolerance of gender inequality and violence against women, providing them with the opportunities to improve their livelihoods.”