a reflection by Jim Miorelli
Sometime in January, 2018 I received a pamphlet in the mail from World Vision, a global Christian humanitarian organization. The pamphlet cover said “Global 6K Walk/Run for Water” but that was all I read for about a month while it sat on a small table in our kitchen. I figured that they wanted a donation, or worse, it was some kind of a call to action, so I would make an audible “ugh” sound every time I walked by the table. After about 20 or 30 of the “ugh” sounds, one Sunday afternoon I finally picked up the pamphlet and began to read. What I learned about clean water, something I had always taken for granted, was shocking:
As I read, I realized that the pamphlet was actually a call for “host site” leaders. A host site is a local venue where the 6K event can be held. A host site leader is a volunteer that secures the host site and then manages the event on the behalf of World Vision. Volunteer resources, in part, enable World Vision to do an excellent job of managing overhead. Their administrative costs are less than 15%, which is very impressive given their global reach and quality programs
I have to confess, I did my very best to talk myself out of it. Maybe it wasn’t a worthy enough cause? No, saving lives, especially the lives of children, is a very worthy cause. Plus, I had been searching for a worthy cause to bring to the St. Paul’s Men’s Group. Maybe it was going to be too much trouble? No, World Vision said that they would provide training and a starter kit. They said the hardest part would be finding a location, and I knew I would have help from the Men’s Group and other wonderful parishioners. Maybe it would be too expensive? Thankfully, I could afford the $50 registrations fee. It was just a 6K walk/run, so the overall costs couldn’t be too expensive. Maybe 6K was too far? No, it’s only a little farther than 5K and lots of folks participate in those events, besides, there’s no rule that says everyone has to walk the entire distance. Maybe it wouldn’t be enjoyable? No, it was supposed to be a fun event, even dog friendly! In short, I couldn’t find a good reason NOT to do it! Dang it!!
Fortunately, the idea was embraced by Noah, Garrett and the Men’s Group. World Vision was correct – finding a suitable host site was the hardest part, but the Panhandle Trail Trailhead in Walker’s Mill proved to be an excellent spot. But for the Grace of God and the generosity and efforts of many parishioners and non, we raised over $7,000 and provided clean water for about 140 children. We had fun and finished just before it started to rain. Even the dogs were smiling!
On a global perspective, the event brought clean water to 60,000 people, and this year the goal is 80,000. World Vision reaches one new person with clean water every 10 seconds. Through their efforts they are on track to bring clean water to 20 million people by 2020 and then to everyone, everywhere they work by 2030. In addition, a few participants even chose to sponsor children for $39 per month. Sponsorship is where even greater benefits are derived because World Vision uses the funds to help build sustainable communities. It is estimated that for every child sponsored, 4 to 5 children benefit because work completed for sponsored children benefits the entire village. World Vision works in communities for 15 to 20 years or until sustainability is attained, then they move on to the next.
Thank you so much to those of you that participated or donated last year! This year, the St. Paul's Men's Group will again be hosting the event on Saturday, May 4 at 8:00 AM at the scenic Panhandle Trail Trailhead in Walker's Mill, about 20 minutes from St. Paul's. We hope to involve even more parishioners, churches, and even businesses. We would love to reach the $10,000 mark! If you would like to participate or learn more, go to https://www.teamworldvision.