How carrying heavy buckets of water this weekend will help people in developing countries

"Walk for Water" expands efforts, adds 5K run
How carrying heavy buckets of water this weekend will help people in developing countries

The community of Mount Horeb is rallying together to raise awareness and money for a cause most of us take for granted: fresh drinking water.

Saturday, May 4 is the town’s annual Run/Walk for Water, but what you can’t tell from the name is that it’s much more than a race. It’s mainly a fundraiser for Living Water International to raise money to drill a fresh water well in an El Salvador village that doesn’t have clean water. That’s the next mission trip for a group of do-gooders, much like the ones who traveled to Honduras from Mount Horeb last summer.

It costs approximately $5,500 to drill a well in Central America. Money raised will go to that, and so much more.

“We go to bring water,” said John Schmitt, volunteer coordinator with Living Water International. “But for the week that we’re there, they just welcome us in. We become part of their family for a week. We may not speak the same language, but we share the same passion and love for our kids.”

The walking part of Saturday’s event simulates the trek many people have to make every day in developing countries. Millions of women and children around the world walk an average of three miles just to get enough water to get their families through the day. In most cases, after walking for miles, the water they bring back to drink and cook with is from an open water source and is often contaminated. That’s why wells are important.

The 9th annual Run/Walk for Water raises money to help build fresh water wells. Participants will begin the race in Grundahl Park with an empty bucket of water; halfway through the walk, they’ll fill that bucket with water from Stewart Lake and walk back, carrying it, for the remainder of the course.

“People take it for granted here,” Schmitt said. “And in those developing countries, there just isn’t a water source close by. They have to walk to an open water source which is typically a river where cattle graze, where they wash their clothes, and where they clean themselves. That’s the water they bring back for their daily needs.”

The 5K run is new at this year’s event. But don’t worry: runners don’t have to carry a heavy bucket while completing the course.

The race begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. Participants can register day-of, beginning at 9 a.m. or online, here.

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