Chatham Camp Raises Over $800 for Clean Water
The Chatham United Methodist Church's vacation Bible camp went "overboard."
Campers and volunteer leaders at Chatham United Methodist Church's (CUMC) Vacation Bible Camp took a plunge to help preserve clean water during their camp session in June.
The camp consisted of 119 children from the Chathams, Madison, Florham Park and other local municipalities and 50 youth and adult volunteers. Each day the children brought in coins to raise money for the United Methodist Committee on Relief's Safe Water and Hygiene Initiative (SWHI).
Through the camp, children learned about the 884 million people in the world who lack the access to safe water they need. "Another 2.5 billion people have little or no access to basic sanitation," according to a press release from CUMC.
Here are some of the fundraising goals children kept in mind when they brought money in for SWHI:
- $25 can purchase a bio-sand filter for one family of five in Africa
- $100 can provide clean water to a family of four for 15 years in Kenya
- $10,000 can build a well in Africa that includes purchasing and transporting necessary supplies, providing hygiene education, and offering maintenance training
The children learned about SWHI's mission to help provide clean water access to vulnerable communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. SWHI locates safe water sources for these communities and works to educate residents and alleviate diseases caused by poor sanitation.
By the end of the week, they raised $843.13 for the initiative, enough to provide eight Kenyan families with clean water for 15 years. Since SWHI works all over the world, "our money could end up anywhere," Karen Berry of CUMC said.
To teach the children about the importance of water, this year' camp was called "Operation Overboard." According to a statement by Berry, children gathered for classes in an "underwater wonderland" where Ocho the Octopus taught water-related Bible stories through workshops, including storytelling, drama, crafts, recreation and music.
Director Shelley Rack said the kids "really went 'overboard'" in their fundraising efforts for the project. They became truly invested in providing clean water sources for people around the world. “The energy and enthusiasm of the kids and our volunteers was amazing," Rack said.