The Heart of Giving: Community:Builder Stories (Part I)
Our monthly donors are called Community:Builders because they are not only providing clean water, sanitation, hygiene, and HIV/AIDS care and prevention services in Africa; they are helping build stronger communities. Blood:Water’s model focuses on empowering grassroots organizations and their communities to take ownership of their health, on both individual and community levels. Some of our Community:Builders told us why this work is so important to them, and we want to share their stories with you!
The vision for bringing clean water and ending the HIV/AIDS crisis [in Africa] was instrumental in leading us to become monthly donors, but as we began to learn more about Blood:Water, and after reading “One Thousand Wells” by Jena Lee Nardella, I gained a whole new appreciation for the work being done in Africa because of how it was being done. I believe that how you accomplish a goal is as important as achieving it.
When I learned that work was being done to teach communities how to take care of themselves and build the infrastructure in which they could contribute to their communities through their personal efforts, it made me even more proud to be supporting the efforts of Blood:Water. The vision became about more than just clean water; it became about restoring dignity to the communities that were receiving clean water and the medical care they desperately needed. We are grateful for the work that Blood:Water continues to do and are honored to be able to support it.
Cycling is one of my biggest passions – I ride my bike between 100-150 miles every week. One hot, summer day in Chicago, five years ago, I was riding home from work, and I ran out of water. After realizing I wasn’t going to make it home without filling up somewhere, I spotted a man outside his house watering plants with a hose. I rode up to him, asked for water, he filled up my bottles, and I was on my way.
As I rode further, I started thinking, “How amazing is it that this guy had a clean water source attached to the side of his house, and through minimal inconvenience, he was able to provide for my need for water in that moment? For free, nonetheless!” It became clear to me that not everyone in the world has that same privilege. I give monthly as a Community:Builder because I want to use the resources I’ve been given to help others gain access to something I so often take for granted.