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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Joy to the World: Spokane Valley church’s holiday fundraiser returns to raise money for clean water in Uganda, Philippines

Valley Real Life Church’s annual Joy to the World holiday fundraiser has raised more than $750,000 for local and global causes since its inception in 2015.

Now, church leaders are hoping this is the year they break the $1 million mark.

The Spokane Valley church’s latest Joy to the World campaign, Project H20, launched the weekend before Thanksgiving with the goal of raising at least $250,000 toward building wells in Uganda and a water refilling station in the Philippines. The campaign will run through the end of the year.

The project aims to raise enough for 28 wells and a water refilling station. Each well, which costs $6,000 to build, will provide more than 6,000 people with clean water daily, according to Valley Real Life.

“We need help to realize the dream of providing the support these communities need the most,” Valley Real Life Pastor Steve Allen said. “For every $1 raised, one life will be changed forever.”

Last year, Valley Real Life raised $305,000 to relieve millions of dollars of medical debt owed by families across the Northwest.

As of last week, Allen said the church was almost at the halfway mark to the $250,000 goal set with Project H20.

“It’s amazing. We haven’t even made our big push yet,” said Allen, who noted the church’s big push often comes around the Christmas season. “People have just gotten wind of what this project is.”

Allen said he and others with the church decided on the cause behind Project H20 through a partnership Valley Real Life has had with Ronald Kizito, pastor of Living Spring Church in Fort Portal, Uganda. Valley Real Life has worked with Living Spring for nearly a decade through various community development efforts, such as home construction and land purchases for crops, he said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 884 million people in the world do not have basic drinking water services.

While Project H20 has a more worldly focus, a majority of past Valley Real Life campaigns have involved more of a local component, Allen said.

With Joy to the World, Allen said church community members design campaigns around critical needs that the church feels “we can make a real dent into.”

“We see the need all around the world,” he said. “We want to be able to help people in our backyard, but we also have several partnerships around the world with people we trust that have needs, so we try to find not an either/or process, but a both/and.”

For more information or to donate, visit the church website at vrl.church/joytotheworld.

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