Mariah and Kiersten Todd, students at Mispillion Elementary in Milford, are leading the school’s charge to help children in developing countries have access to clean water. All sparked by a lesson about water by teachers Ms. Bordley and Gibson, the Wish for Water campaign has not only educated students on the challenges of obtaining clean water in several foreign nations but has also raised over $1,200 from Mispillion students to help solve the problem for families abroad.
The Todd family has been involved with the Global Aid Network, a humanitarian arm of Campus Crusade for Christ, for several years. Megan Todd, mother of Mariah and Kiersten, has exposed her daughters to global challenges and public health initiatives to provide assistance to developing countries. As Ms. Bordley and Gibson spoke in the classroom about water, it was one statistic that challenged the two girls to get started on helping children from around the world immediately; every 21 seconds a child dies from water-related diseases.
“I was trying to teach the kids that although here we have access to water every day at any time, there are many children around the world that do not,” commented Ms. Bordley. “Some of these children have to walk miles every day with their families to have clean water.”
That night Mariah and Kiersten told their mother they knew how they wanted to help on a global scale. The girls decided to raise money to buy water filters for children in third world countries so that those families would have immediate access to clean water. This initiative would also lead to less water-related deaths among those families.
“We wanted to do something to help kids. Ms. Bordley started talking about water so we wanted to start buying filters to bring clean water to kids,” commented Mariah.
Talking with Mispillion Elementary School Principal Susan Donahue, the pair were able to grow the classroom initiative into a school-wide program. The Wish for Water program has been able to raise over $1,200 by students as each grade, one through five, is currently competing to raise the most money.
“[Clean water] is something you take for granted, until you start to think about it you do not realize the impact you can make as an individual,” commented Mispillion Elementary Principal Susan Donahue. “I told the girls to come up with what they wanted to do and that we would support it.”
In addition to holding special days where students could pay a dollar to wear blue jeans and blue shirts instead of their school uniform, the Todd family has also been giving demonstrations to classes around the school of just how the water filters work.
“It is a great feeling and it is exciting. I am overwhelmed that a student of mine wanted to make such a huge difference in the lives of others,” commented Ms. Bordley.
The filters which cost approximately $100 a piece, can supply two to three families clean water for four to five years. The money raised by Mispillion students will be used to purchase filters that will be shipped by the Global Aid Network to children in central Asia and Africa. Donations can be made this week to help the program by calling the Mispillion Elementary School at 424-5800, they are needed by this Thursday morning, May 29th.