Water in COVID times

There may not be a lot of good news in the media, but I have cause to celebrate!

COVID may still be occupying most of the headlines worldwide and resultantly negatively affecting the economy as well as the hopes and dreams of countless others, yet I have a reason to get up and dance. Reason being that within the last few weeks I’ve funded 17 projects in 3 different states. You might not think that’s celebration worthy but considering donations have fallen off dramatically since COVID first hit and its now August, and yet I’m still able to drill wells; well that’s cause for me to say “raise the roof”. I would also bet that for the 17 villages, schools and/or communities which will have access to these new projects, representing thousands of lives, it is a miracle of God to them too.

I read an article the other day which spoke of the spread of COVID in India and how it’s producing large numbers of positive cases in the rural populations of 10 states and many think India soon will surpass the US in total number of cases and in deaths.  What happens in the future with COVID remains to be seen, interestingly though is that all of our work is within 7 of the 10 states that are experiencing the most number of positive cases. What I take from this fact is simple; we’re at work in rural areas which are impacted significantly by COVID.  This creates an opportunity for me to not shrink from the challenge but embrace it and look for opportunities to make a difference.

When these projects are completed, we will have brought water to 43 new places in 2020! God willing another 10 to 20 projects will happen before the year closes out and an opportunity for me to travel and open a significant number of these projects will take place.

Let me wrap this up with a simple prayer which I try to remember to pray each day, especially in these COVID times, a prayer that keeps my focus where it should be; “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For the Kingdom and the power and the glory are your forever.  Amen.”

15 projects in 2 days

2 days ago, I arrived to the heat of Trichy, 99 degrees is what my app read with no rain or cooling in sight; ahh India!

Despite the heat it was nice to be back, 7 months since my last visit, a new record for me.  This trip was short and sweet, 2 days of project dedications, 15 in all.

Each day was filled with faces of children with stern looks until my camera came out and water started to flow; when these 2 things happened, their livelihood changed.

During my time here in Trichy I was reminded by Dhana, who is the founder of DPWA that our partnership has now stretched to 15 years and he’s still happy with me and trusts that I was still happy with him, to which I gave an affirmative reply.  I don’t think either of us would have thought 15 years ago we would still be enjoying one another and seeing projects happen in so many different places, 378 to be exact.

The miracle of this trip was that when they gave me a project proposal for 14 places, I had money for only 5, but that is how God often works.  He takes what you have, and he multiplies it, so much so that a few days before you travel you receive an email asking if it’s okay to use the left-over funds to drill a 15th project?  Abundance and not scarcity is what the economy of Heaven is all about and for some reason I’m still trying to learn that.

Here are some photos highlighting this trip and in just 3 weeks I’ll be back as it’s that time of year; temperatures are slowly reducing, and God is motivating folks to give and support our work of making a difference through providing access to safe water. 

On behalf of all the school kids and villages who now have access to clean water, Thank You for supporting Wells for Life!

2019 Water Camps

These photos never get old; a partner seeking to make a practical difference in the lives of anyone walking the streets on a hot summer day. 

Our NASA partner decided it was time to make a difference in a very easy and practical way after seeing so many suffer as they walked the streets during the hot days of summer.  Their idea was “what if we gave them a cup of cool water?”  Someone else chimed in “or even cool buttermilk” and the idea took hold and within a short period of time the staff was out on the streets providing a cool refreshing drink when the temperatures were 100 plus degrees.  They wanted to scale their outreach and they reached out to me and so for many years we have been providing funds for these Emergency Water Camps.  Unfortunately, our resources go only so far and so each year we trust we’ll have something we can send so a few camps can be taken up.  This year was no different.

The money you give to Wells for Life goes to projects such as these; basic touches from one person to another.  In a world that is being dominated by headlines of racism, injustices and oppression, it’s nice to see a story or an example of people helping others for no other reason than to demonstrate kindness, compassion, empathy and love, and this towards a stranger.

Help me continue making a difference in the rural areas of India with a gift. 

Your dollars make it possible for a cup of cool water or even buttermilk to be enjoyed.  Your giving goes beyond the small simple touches to larger efforts like drilling bore wells and installing hands pumps or motorized pumps thus ensuring that a needy village or school has fresh water. 

Our work impacts everyone in the community; man, woman or child; rich or poor, Hindu, Muslim or Christian, it doesn’t matter, and it happens when you give.

$1000 provides for a Emergency Water Camp and $2500 ends a village or community’s waiting for a hand pump water project; Waiting

Will you help us finish the year strong and give towards meeting our goal of 60 new clean water projects?  Today we are at 38, so a bit to go, but with your help, we’ll reach our goal and impact a lot of lives. Donate Now

Final 2018 trip is a just a few weeks away

Yes, it’s true I just returned from a trip but that was to participate in a Leadership seminar and to open water projects. Thankfully all went wonderfully and was happy to be home in time for the trick or treaters and raiding my sons stash of candy.

As I mentioned, in a few weeks I’ll be returning to India, this time to open 8 projects in Gujarat and Maharashtra. When those are completed I’ll fly to Vijayawada and visit a couple of other projects which were completed back in August but I haven’t seen yet then I’ll head over to Chennai and travel to some property where a children’s home is to be constructed and where we’ve just brought water so they can get started with the actual construction of buildings.

It’s a full trip for me, a lot packed into the 9 days and I’m already looking ahead into 2019 and my upcoming travel schedule.

Looking ahead into 2019, I’m scheduled to be back in India the 3rd week of January and open projects in West Bengal and Odisha. In February the plan is to travel to Andhra Pradesh and spend time at New Life Children’s Home and open projects within that area as well as do some video work retelling the Wells for Life story. In April I’m doing something I swore I would never do and that’s travel to India as it’s really, really hot then but I’m doing it because some good friends have asked me to join them and it’s a unique opportunity for me to give them a glimpse of the real India, what normal life is like for millions of rural folk living without a constant electricity flow (to power lights, fans and my favorite – AC) or more necessary, clean water. I’ll be praying for abnormally cool temperatures.

In the interim, this is the Holiday Season when people start thinking about gift giving, cooking, travel and time off, as well as Black Friday shopping, so when you’re engaged in all of that and you get thirsty and go for that water bottle, coffee, tea or soda; remember me and Wells for Life.

It’s your gift giving that makes it possible for Wells for Life to carry out its mission of bringing clean, safe water to rural India, so thank you for your support and faithful giving this year and through the years.

Almost 850 places have access to clean water because of you, which is an amazing number and this doesn’t even touch the programs which aren’t water related that we have been involved in, so great job in making a difference and helping me change lives.

All your giving to Wells for Life is tax deductible and if you haven’t considered giving through your company’s matching gift program, look into it as essentially that’s free money out there waiting to be invested in a good cause and I can’t think of a better one than ours. (If Wells for Life isn’t on your company’s give list, contact me for the necessary information to get us added.)

Here’s a clip of a video from a project I opened this summer for some friends.

Blessings to you.

April 2018 trip

3 weeks ago I returned from my 2nd trip to India this year and had the chance to see four recently completed projects with this being one of them.  It amazes me to see the simplicity of life that so many people live in rural India and how powerful access to water becomes; for this Gypsy community the water on the newly acquired land will ultimately bring homes.

I call that change, positive change which came because someone believed in what I was doing and they gave money; money which brought clean water and for this community, a chance at a better life.

Tent living no more!

2017 Results in January 2018

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!