Wrapping up January and I think I’m still trying to figure out where December went. This time of year is normally busy for me with all my travels to India which seems to be nonstop starting in September however this past year I cut out December and January’s trip so I won’t see the Selfie capital of the world till late February. I only bring up the selfie thing because in the news today was a story of an Indian guy in Hyderabad taking a selfie next to the train tracks with an oncoming train and sure enough, he was hit, but lucky for him, wasn’t killed. A head scratcher for sure, I guess anything for that perfect selfie. Speaking of selfie, here’s one of me from my trip this past November. LOL.
Highlights from 2017 –
- 59 water projects funded
- Annual support for leper community
- Annual support for Lydia’s Girl’s Hostel including bunk beds and Christmas gifts
- Solar Panel and paint for a Children’s Home of 235
- Emergency Water Camps
- Electrical Grid panel repair and school bus funding for primary school
- Startup costs for 2 medical clinics
2018 marks also a rise in what I am now asking people to contribute for our water projects. For more than a decade we were able to provide hand pump projects for $2000 and at this price we were afforded the ability to put some money aside into an escrow account to address future maintenance on our projects. This past year, one of the items our Board of Directors tackled was a Director’s salary both for the present and for the future as part of a succession plan for that time when I need to step aside. It’s somewhat strange to think of leaving something you started so long ago, something you have poured your life and soul into but that’s reality, at some point I will need to fade away and allow someone younger to pick up where I left off and take Wells for Life to places I could only have imagined.
I honestly don’t have any idea when my time will come but they say it’s never too early to prepare so, we’ve begun those steps which meant a salary for me which in turn means a new “ask” for our projects. Our new number is $2500; still a reasonable and affordable number for clean water especially when you look at what we do, where we do it and the peace of mind that I’ll be there cutting the ribbon and drawing the water. Proof positive that your donation is making a difference in rural India.
I leave with some photos of those whose lives were touched this past year by your generosity!
This past November I traveled to Trichy to visit our DPWA partners, Dhana and his son Prasanna, and because of their work, 11 new projects were opened many of them schools along with a home for the physically and mentally challenged. It had been a little over a year since I was there last and it was good to be back in familiar surroundings opening new projects and seeing the impact being made in the area with clean water.
This particular trip was really short, 5 days in fact. I missed a day on the front end due to a delayed flight out of Kansas City which caused a missed connection in Chicago, but once I reached India everything went smoothly. Getting in the country took a bit of time but once the immigration fellows realized I wasn’t a threat my passport was stamped and I was granted entry.
So what’s next?
I’m hoping to take a break actually and not travel in January. We’ll see if that holds up. I’ve traveled 6 times this year and last so taking a break might not be a bad idea. I do have a ticket for late February/early March and plan on opening 6 projects in NW India and maybe some more in other areas, just not sure at this point as these decisions are based upon the level of our year-end giving.
When it comes to year-end giving, we, like all the other non-profits rely on those gifts to carry out our programs. What set’s us a part from many of them is the fact that most of our contributions are used on programs, like bringing clean water and making an impact in the lives of men, women and children like you see here in this post. This year we have brought water to over 50 places and I’m hoping we’re not done.
As you consider your end of year giving, take that next step and give, go ahead, make a difference and stand with me in bringing positive change to rural places in India.
Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!!
Just to update my post from a couple of weeks ago; the community affected by the fire is working with our partner Nazareth Association for Social Awareness to rebuild. This process involves seeking financial assistance from the state government to rebuild their existing structures which were damaged. The timing in this will be very lengthy so in the interim the funds which Wells for Life raised have been sent and utilized for temporary shelters, food, clothing and other necessities which will help them endure until the funds are made available by the state government.
Thank you to those who so generously gave and responded to this need. Access to water already exists so there is no further need from our standpoint to invest in the rebuilding efforts for these people. Again, much thanks was expressed to us for the aid which we were able to provide.
I received this email late last night from one of our partners in S. India and I wanted to share it as an immediate need exists to make a difference in the lives of some people who have suffered a tragedy.
On 15th March 2016, evening, a fire accident occurred in a village outside Tuni due to short circuit. At that time all the residents – 11 downtrodden families went to go for their regular works like selling of items hair, hair pins, small plastic toys and combs etc. 6 houses have been burned including their clothes, utensils, cots and all their little possessions. Their small tents have also collapsed. Now they are outside on platforms, pavement sides. They have no food, water, clothes,
We intend to immediately respond in their dire need and support with some relief materials. For approximately $200/per family, we can provide rice (10 kgs each), clothes for each family, temporary tent, utensils, some vegetables and groceries. For 11 families, we are looking to raise $2,200.
If you want to give towards this immediate need, just make a donation now on our Give page and mark your gift Fire.
Funds have been received for 12 new water projects in South India benefiting thousands of rural men, women and children. Additionally we also funded 5 months of medical camps and looking forward to hear each month about the impact that is being had through these free clinics.
Huge thanks to those who continue to give towards our work and 3 projects were “funded in faith” without sponsors so if you want to get in on sponsoring one of these three projects, contact me!
Now that we are in the throngs of summer here is a recap of what we have accomplished so far:
30 drilled water projects in Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh with another 10 projects in the works within the Trichy District of Tamil Nadu.
Just funded 6 months of 2nd Saturday medical camps in Tuni, AP which will start in August and run through January 2015. These projects have on average 400 people attending who are in need of medical care and can’t afford such care.
Funded 7 months of support to a girl’s youth hostel in Gujarat and still seeking the final 5 months of funding for their everyday needs.
Carried out a medical camp earlier this year in the Visak District and saw over 400 people come to receive medical exams from 2 local doctors along with receiving much needed medicines for their individual ailments.
Seeking to raise $25,000 for our share of a mobile medical unit we want to help purchase and see used in the Dang District of Southern Gujarat. We have the staff ready; just need another $12,500 to fulfill our obligation.
Raised funds for a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system which we hope to see installed soon at New Life Children’s Home and in addition to providing them with cleaner water, the system will enable them to enter into a small water distribution business which we hope will help them become more self-sufficient.
Set up 5 emergency water stations in Tuni which will run for a week and provide “water relief” for all those traveling throughout the city as Southern India is experiencing high heat and significant power cuts. The local government has appealed to our partner and Wells for Life to provide assistance and as such we have responded.
1 of our 5 water stations in Tuni
Leave next month for India and will be traveling to North and South India dedicating projects and working alongside our project partners with an aim towards developing projects/programs that bring lasting change.
My hope and prayer is that what has been accomplished so far this year is the build up to even greater exploits as the year goes on. More projects remain to be funded, more opportunities for outreach into the lives of the poor. Raising another $12,500 so that we fulfill our commitment to raise ½ of the costs for a mobile medical unit in North India would be huge and to see this vision come to fruition would truly be a climax for those tribal people who desperately need such a van to bring a doctor and medicines to them.
People ask all the time how and why I do this work and don’t I grow overwhelmed because the needs are so great? My answer to them is not to see the needs and be overwhelmed but to see “needs” as opportunities and at the vast number of places that we can touch and make a difference in. It’s like a huge bowl filled with candy that was collected over Halloween, do you just look at it and be amazed at how much is there and how can one possibly eat all of this candy or do you just start digging, grabbing and eating and before you know it you have consumed a bunch of it?
India is like that, just jump in and start; before you know it you’re so in to what you are doing that you just have to do more because it’s really good, especially when you see lives changed. I know this isn’t the greatest analogy and I could poke holes through it, but I won’t because it’s what came to mind as I type so I’ll just let it stand!
Now my invitation to have you join me and help me finish strong this year! Your financial support will help bring water and change lives and if you want to help us reach our goal of $12,500 to meet our obligation for funding a mobile medical unit for Southern Gujarat and the Dang District then memo your gift MMU.
Blessings to you and enjoy your Summer!