This holiday season, Raider Relief, a student-driven organization at the University of Mount Union, is encouraging individuals to spend less on unnecessary holiday gifts and redirect their spending to provide clean water to residents of third world nations.
Students involved in this year’s project, H20 (Help 2 Others), are selling small test tubes of purple tap water for $10. All proceeds will support the mission of Living Water International, a faith-based, non-profit organization dedicated to providing 884 million impoverished people worldwide who lack access to safe and clean drinking water.
The small test tube filled with purple water, enclosed in a message and packaged in a gift box can be purchased at Buckeye State Credit Union, located at 1731 W. State Street in Alliance and B & B Café at Mount Union. Individuals can also purchase the gift through PayPal on www.RaiderRelief.org for $15, which includes shipping and handling.
According to Living Water International’s website, 5,000 children under the age of five die every day from water-related diseases – that’s one child every 15 seconds. Nearly 90 percent of all diseases in the world are caused by a combination of unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
The project is inspired by Advent Conspiracy, a movement launched several years ago by Living Water International. The premise of the movement is that, if just a fraction of the money Americans spend on needless holiday gifts was redirected to providing clean water to residents of third world nations, millions of lives could be saved. According to the National Retail Federation, it is forecasted that American’s will spend $447.1 billion in 2010 on holiday gifts.
“The holiday season is supposed to be about giving,” said Sean Cook, a senior business administration major from Alliance, OH and student advocate for the project. “I don’t think I can ignore the needs of people far less fortunate than myself, especially when all they want is water – something we take for granted every day in the United States.”