Campaign to watch: Love is more than just being nice.

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campaign: Silas and Addie’s Water Project
raised so far: at least $315
has been fundraising since: January 17, 2012
mission statement: “After learning more about charity: water’s work, I know we can make a dent in the global water crisis. We would love to raise $5,000 to build clean water projects for people in need.”

Silas and Addie

What do kids know about loving others? A lot! Little Silas and Addie are channeling their passion to help others into bringing clean water to other kids who don’t have access to it like they do. We talked to their mom, Jennie, about how these kids are doing so much at just six and four years old:

First off, let’s start out by introducing your kids, Silas and Addie: 
Silas is six years old and in kindergarten. Adoniah (Addie) is four years old and goes to preschool. They love to be outside, play games and be with their friends and family.

Where did you first learn about charity: water?
I read about charity: water in Relevant magazine. When I saw the statistics and the desperate need for clean water in our world, I was moved. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to give my children water that was full of dirt and germs, but this is the only choice some have. It’s either dirty water or thirst. 

“I realized that I had to help them understand that they have more than enough and that there are children in the world who struggle to even survive. “

I tried to empathize with those parents, and when I did, I knew that I had to donate; even if it was only $20. When I went to the website, I realized that you can make your own campaign. My husband Michael and I had been trying to think of ways that our family could make a difference. Our goal is to have a non-profit farm and raise food for local charities that feed children; but we wanted a way for our kids to experience giving now

Our kids really have a lot, even though we live in a small apartment on Iowa State University’s campus. When I heard them ask for things they do not need (like more toys, different food, a bigger house) and listen to them whine when I say no — I realized that I had to help them understand that they have more than enough and that there are children in the world who struggle to even survive. 

Jesus asked us to love others, and I wanted them to realize that that love goes beyond just being nice to friends and being respectful to people: it means that we are to show them love by meeting their needs and caring for them. 

So what made Silas and Addie decide to try and help kids around the world get clean, safe drinking water?
After I saw that we could start our own campaign, I showed Silas and Addie the video “Water Changes Everything”. They were really moved by it.

Silas and Addie made a short video to spread
the word about their campaign.

They asked (and still ask) to watch it over and over again. I asked them if they would like to help raise money to give these people clean water and they said “YES!” They were very excited to be able to help.

I have already seen a change in their attitude toward what we have. The kids ask me to check the progress of their campaign every day, and Silas has talked about it at school. Basically, when they saw the video and realized there were so many children suffering because of dirty water, they really wanted to be able to help.

How have Silas and Addie spread the word?
Silas and Addie made a short video and we put it online. They love making videos together and watching them, and our friends and family always enjoy them. 

So we thought that making a video would be a fun and easy way to share their message and raise money for charity: water. We plan to make a few more over the course of the campaign. Basically, we are trying to get people to realize the need and respond with a donation. 

Ok, now Addie and Silas, why do you want to raise money for clean water?
Silas: “I want to do that because those people don’t have clean water and I don’t want those people to die. And also because those people have been made by God and He wants them to have healthy lives.”
Addie:  “Because its dirty water! It is so dangerous for the kids!”

Silas and Addie laugh

What has been the greatest challenge of campaigning so far?
So far, a lot of people have shared the video because they thought it was really cute. We just hope that people look beyond the kids’ age and what they are saying and see the deeper message.  

Any advice for others who are thinking of fundraising?
Definitely do it! It is so easy. All I had to do was set up the page and start spreading the word. I would definitely recommend parents do this with their children. It would be very easy for children’s groups and schools to do.

Ok, one more question, this time for Silas and Addie… what would you say to the kids who will get clean water as a result of your campaign?
Silas: “I will pray for you. I hope you can go to school and maybe play soccer or something, too.”
Addie: “Hi, I’m  Addie. Can you go to school, too? Jesus loves all the kids.”

Shoot a video, sell clothes, give up your birthday: you can do just about anything to raise funds for clean water. Learn more here >

Beautiful Malawi landscape Previous From the field: Getting creative in Malawi. Blog Home A woman smiles while holding a Jerry can of water. Next Recognizing women in the water crisis.