The Things We Take for Granted | 10 Day Challenge

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I'm not sure I told all of you our latest news. We have an exchange student living with us. He arrived last week from Sweden and he'll be here for about eight months. On his second day here, he asked for a glass to get a drink of water. I handed it to him, he went to the sink and then paused.

"Is it safe to drink from here?"

I didn't think at all before I replied, "of course."

Like most Europeans, our student is very well traveled. He told me stories of places he's visited where it's not okay to drink the water.

And then I felt about two inches tall.

I've never been out of the United States let alone to another country. His question about our water and my really snooty reply was a complete smack in the face about just how narrow my world view is and how much I take for granted as an American.

Here are some facts I didn't know:
-780 million people lack access to an improved water source; approximately one in nine people.

-An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.

-In just one day, 200 million work hours are consumed by women collecting water for their families. This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Walmart, United Parcel Service, McDonald's, IBM, Target, and Kroger.

-Malnutrition, due to dirty water, inadequate sanitation, and hygiene, is estimated to lead to death in an additional 2,350 children under the age of five each day. 

I have complained many times about how long it takes to fill our jacuzzi bathtub. Now I feel ashamed. I can't change my past behavior but I can be more conscious going forward.

Today is the first day of the 10 Day Challenge to raise awareness about the global water crisis and enough funds to provide clean water to 100 people to lat their entire lives. Yes, you read that correctly. A $25 donation will ensure that one person will always have access to safe, clean water. I made a donation. Will you please consider supporting this important and worthy cause, too?

If you want to get involved you have several options:

*Make a donation and help make their $2500 goal
*Follow on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook
*Start your own fundraising project
*Buy a CamelBak reusable water bottle and $10 of your purchase will support
The Mission List

Follow the conversation online #10Days10LivesTML


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