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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Teachers raise money for those without water

Linda Hanke

Recently, I visited a friend.

“Can I get you something to drink?”

“Yes,” came my reply, “A glass of water would be great.”

As we sat down at the kitchen table, she handed me a tall, clear glass of sparkling ice water.

We talked, we laughed and we shared stories about our grandchildren. Little thought was paid to my drinking this glass of water. Little or no thought was paid to how we simply turned on a faucet and there it was, and little thought paid to throwing the remainder left in the glass down the sink when our visit was over.

The day soon came, however, when I was confronted with a new reality. A glass of pure, clean and refreshing water was a great privilege I took for granted. Challenged to read a book, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” by Richard Stearns, CEO of World Vision, a humanitarian organization, I learned with stinging clarity what millions of people face all over the world.

People in poverty-stricken lands cannot comprehend the ease with which we in America get a drink. Women and children walk for miles, spending their days retrieving dirty liquid from holes in the ground and bringing it back to their families. Water that is contaminated and full of disease, ponds that often contain human and animal waste are often the only source of water to be found. Stirred to compassion, I talked with another reader of this book. Pam Crowley and her husband, Joe, couldn’t get the thought out of their minds of people in Africa who are dying from unclean water. When confronted with a resource of providing a well to a whole village for $10,000, they bravely set forth to earn the money to send to Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief group, which will dig the well.

The Crowleys, schoolteachers at Glover Middle School, spoke to their principal and got permission to request funds from their fellow teachers. So far $3,604 has been raised through donations; $6,396 more is needed. That seems like a lot of money, but with many people contributing, a source of clean water can reach children and their families, potentially saving their lives. The next time you go to your kitchen to get a drink, would you consider adding to this fund?

You may send contributions to: Joe and Pam Crowley, Glover Middle School, 2404 W. Longfellow Ave., Spokane, WA 99205.

Spokane resident Linda Hanke can be reached by e-mail at
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