According to the organization charity: water, nearly one billion of the world’s people don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water--and unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation cause diseases that kill more people every year than all forms of violence.
Now the Miller Worley Center for the Environment is working with MHC students to raise money for charity: water, a nonprofit organization that brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. To support the students who are trying to make a difference, the Miller Worley Center is sponsoring a campuswide bottle and can drive, with all proceeds going to charity: water. Now through May 14, the Mount Holyoke community can donate to the charity: water campaign by collecting bottles and cans in residence halls and offices and dropping them into specially marked collection bins or at the Miller Worley Center in Dwight Hall.
The effort is being led by Melissa White ’13 and Emily Lindauer ’13. White is a politics and chemistry major from Tallahassee, Florida; Lindauer is an architecture major from Philadelphia. Both students have been raising money for charity: water since last spring.
"I fell in love with charity: water because it does a fantastic job of taking something I am passionate about--safe and clean access to water resources--and making it easy to be a part of the solution," says White. "As a global community, Mount Holyoke is the perfect place to push this idea of providing drinking water to those in developing nations.”
"The bottle and can collection is a great way to take a resource that we already have and turn it into something that will essentially bring clean water to people across the globe. Access to safe drinking water means more than quenching a population’s thirst. It means better access to education, disease prevention, and safer communities," adds Lindauer.
In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking to obtain water, according to charity: water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source. Establishing a clean water project nearby provides both safe drinking water and time and freedom to women and children in these developing nations.
In four years, charity: water has raised more than $20 million and funded 3,196 water projects. The organization funds a range of water solutions, including hand-dug wells, drilled wells, rehabilitations, spring protections, rainwater catchments, and BioSand filters. It is the goal of charity: water to not only provide clean and safe water to those in need, but to do so through sustainable projects.
The donations generated from bottles and cans collected will go directly to the organization, and participants will be able to track the MHC campaign’s progress. Participants are asked to make certain donated bottles are redeemable in Massachusetts. Collection bins will be available throughout campus near recycling bins and in other locations. The center and students are currently planning awareness events, art displays, and other campaign efforts that will be scheduled throughout the semester.
For more information, contact the Miller Worley Center for the Environment at 413-538-3091 or visit the center's website.