Campus Ministry raises money for clean water charity

Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill many people around the world every year, but the nonprofit organization Charity Water is helping combat this issue, and Grand Valley State University’s Campus Ministry has paired up with them to do so.

“We wanted to do something to get people clean water who don’t have it. It’s a source that’s so readily available to us that we don’t even have to think about it,” said Heather Yzenbaard, Campus Ministry serve team leader. “We turn on the faucet and we have clean water. We don’t have to worry about any safety concerns or worry that we might get sick from it.”

Today at 9 p.m., Campus Ministry will be hosting its final campus praise rally of the year in the Grand River Room in the Kirkhof Center, and during the rally, it will be raising its final funds for the water campaign that has been ongoing since March. This rally will consist of song performances followed by information on how much money the campaign has raised for Charity Water. By encouraging last minute donations, Campus Ministry hopes to reach its $2,000 goal, which will provide 100 people with access to clean water.

“Water is a small step, but a significant step toward really transforming the lives of people,” Campus Minster Scott Stark said. “Especially the lives of people who are most vulnerable in a community.”

Many people around the world are often forced to walk hours to fetch water from rivers and streams, and then they have to carry it back home. This water contains bacteria that can cause diseases and even death.

“We’re trying to build a clean water well somewhere in the world that needs it,” serve team leader Cameron Meyer said. “By doing that, not only is it going to provide hydration and the necessary water that people need to live, but it’s also going to provide clean sanitation and it’s going to provide people an opportunity to make an income and go to school.”

Campus Ministry has been raising money for this cause during the Christian season of Lent by making announcements at its ministry events and handing out water bottles with information about Charity Water attached. It has also been having friendly money-raising competitions.

“Clean water may be the most precious commodity in the world because it is the source of life,” Stark said. “If you have clean water and access to clean water, then you have access to a much better and sustained life than you do if you don’t have access to clean water.”

To donate money to Charity Water, visit To follow Campus Ministry’s efforts, search hashtag GV4H2O on Twitter.