Westminster group to raise money for water project

A new Westminster College club is taking on a big challenge in the name of a good cause: Raising $20,000 in 90 days to help provide clean, safe water to a community in a developing country.

Starting Feb. 1, WestMO for HOPE is hoping Westminster students and area residents will help them meet that goal.

Westminster student Kenna Cornelson said she got the idea to start WestMO for HOPE when her former high school started a similar project.

“I figured Westminster is so much about service this might be a project we could do here as well,” Cornelson said. “So far, everybody is pumped about it.”

WestMO for HOPE took on the challenge through Charity Water, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations by building fresh water wells.

“The money will go to a school or health clinic and will give an average of 1,000 people access to fresh water,” Cornelson said, noting that in addition to a healthier source of water, having ready access to a well also will help with increased hygiene through more baths and washing of hands. “This can help lead up to a healthier lifestyle.”

She also is excited about the other, less-obvious, benefits of having water more readily available to these communities.

“Children and women there spend three hours a day walking to get water and come back carrying buckets that can weigh up to 40 pounds, so they don’t have time for education,” Cornelson said. “They also will be able to plant and water gardens and then sell the produce for profit.”

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