Let's be honest- all six of us are running because we know it's good for us. None of us have a steady exercise regimen, and we are getting to the age where having or not having that sort of schedule sets us on a health trajectory that will be hard to alter either way in the years to come. We formed this running group because it would keep us accountable to each other. But why also give to a charity? Obviously, our photos say it all- we are just honest, upstanding gentlemen who want our efforts to make the biggest impact possible. But if we’re still being honest, it’s because none of us want to lose money we could be spending on happy hour!
Why water? A million causes are out there, and we choose one as simple as water. First, it's incredibly difficult to agree on just one cause. Tell six guys to discuss saving seals or otters, and friendships will be broken. But no matter what our creed or color, we can all agree that we are on average 60% water (73% if we were simply just brain and heart, 83% if we were just lungs) (1). Water in our developed nation is also as ubiquitous as it is clean. We brush our teeth and wash our bodies daily (presumably) without ever wondering if the flick of our wrist over the faucet will fail our expectation. Depending on who we ask, we should be drinking 8 glasses, two liters, or "as much water as we can" per day. To the extent that we think about water, we think about what's holding it (Hydroflask, Camelbak, Klean Kanteen, Nalgene, or a simple cup), or we think about what "kind" of water we desire (Evian, Voss, Boxed Water, Fiji, Poland Springs, etc). Water is everywhere.
(water found randomly in my home)
Except that it's not. Yes, technically the planet has enough water for all of humanity to use (2). But that water is distributed unevenly throughout the globe, and access to much of it requires infrastructures in place to extract, and trained personnel to maintain. In developed nations, these infrastructures and maintenance services are assumed. In fact, water and water treatment are so out of the public mind that national news was made when an American city was found to have unsafe amounts of lead in its water supply (3). In comparison, many villages in Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia have precious few water supplies that are so commonly known to be infested with dysentery, cholera, and typhoid (4) that it's not worth reporting.
(photo credit: http://www.unwater.org/water-facts/scarcity/# )
That's where you and I can step in and step up. The six of us are drinking as much water as we can before and after our runs, and it's a true blessing that we can do so without a second thought or worry. Let us spread that blessing together. Pledge an amount to Charity: Water (Don't donate just yet! Just let us know the amount), and if the 6 of us can't run 2019 miles by January 1, 2019, we will donate your pledge amount on your behalf. This is more than just about global health. Water collection in developing nations is disproportionately delegated to women and children. If a village has access to clean water, children can spend more time learning in school, and women can spend more time working and boosting their household income out of poverty. But for the six of us, there is something even more meaningful- we just want our happy hour back.
Come back to this blog regularly, where in future posts we'll talk more about Charity:Water, what they do, and where their money goes. We'll also update you on our running progress, aches, and pains!
Works cited (we're an academic bunch):
Wikipedia article: Water Scarcity. Water scarcity
Wikipedia article: Flint water crisis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_water_crisis
Charity water video: https://www.charitywater.org/global-water-crisis#video