One of the best things about being involved with the Haiti Water Project is to see the generous ways that so many people are coming alongside churches in Haiti as they work to make a difference in their communities. We especially like to see the creative ways people are coming up with to give. And so this month we want to share some of these stories from the past few months — and to encourage you to continue creative generosity.
Holy COWs. A group of 5th and 6th graders at Newport Church of the Nazarene in Oregon have been helping Haiti for a couple of years now. They’ve raised a few thousand dollars in that time through Operation C.O.W. (Cup of Water). They sell wacky little rubber cows with a tag that tells people about the need for clean water in Haiti and the simple ways we can all get involved. (Wouldn’t you want to buy one?)
Message in a Bottle. A bunch of kids from a district of churches in Northwest Ohio heard about the lack of clean water in Haiti and decided that they could do something about it. So for a year they talked about the problem, and they raised money to help with a solution. In the end, these children collected more than $12,000 for the Haiti Water Project by selling bottled water and giving their own money at Vacation Bible School.
“I think the kids related to it,” says Kristi Payne, who coordinated the project.“They drink water, and they could put themselves in the place of the kids in Haiti.”
When Necessary, Use Words. This past spring Southside Nazarene in Virginia thought it was time to remind everyone what it means to get involved in the world we live in. They started by focusing on the HWP — subtly. They built a cardboard well and put out a couple of bottles of dirty water with a sign asking, “What if this were your drinking water?” And then they said nothing … until a month later when they talked about the reality of children hauling and drinking dirty water.
Freddie Auguste, who helped organize the event said, “We had 249 8-ounce bottles of water, which we were planning to sell for $20. We had to set up two booths to handle the crowd — you’ve got to believe. We raised $11,590.97 in two weekends.” In the end, they collected $16,000 so that children in Haiti can drink safe water.
Conspiring at Advent. Feeling like celebrating Christmas a little early? Get inspired here: This past year, Ekklesia Hattiesburg (Mississippi) decided to participate in the Advent Conspiracy. Ekklesia’s idea was to give more by providing clean water for those without in Haiti. They collected about $10,000 in the few weeks leading up to Christmas. That, in itself, makes you want to take notice. But knowing that Ekklesia is a new church of about 100 people makes you really want to take notice. In addition to opening up their wallets, the church gave people an opportunity to buy Christmas tree ornaments made in Haiti — a chance to charge a little extra and give profits to the HWP and also provide work for a Haitian artisan.
Liquid Hope. Chicago First Church of the Nazarene launched an Advent Conspiracy project. They called it Liquid Hope. The ideas was simple: Attach custom HWP labels to water bottles, sell them, and use the proceeds to help the Haiti Water Project. The success of the project was undeniable: They raised more than $10,000. Youth pastor Tim Britton says they set out “with the intent of being a small part of the solution for the global water crisis.” We say that caring about the cause means helping real people in real ways, and that’s big.
By a Hair. A church called The Sanctuary in Mississauga, Canada, thought maybe people could be motivated to give through a little friendly competition — and a bit of humiliation. This past winter our friend Brett Porter set out this challenge: Raise enough money for a well in Haiti, and I’ll shave my head. And in the end … he found himself wearing a cap during the cold Ontario winter.