campaign: Paddle for Wells
raising the money: Josh Tart
raised so far: $2,185
mission statement: “I’m paddling 6,000 miles for clean water. Help me raise $5,000 in the next three months to give clean water access to 250 people!”
How did you first get started fighting the water crisis?
I’ve been to really remote places, Peru and Guatemala, and I’ve kinda seen some of the water that people drink firsthand. Somebody told me about charity: water a month before I started the trip. I followed Scott and charity: water on Twitter. I was really impressed with how y’all manage the money that you receive and just how you show people what you do. I was coming out of my junior year of college and was thinking of something adventuresome to do. I actually put paddling for a cause and the water crisis together last March, then I opened up my campaign officially at the beginning of January.
What did you do to prepare everything for
There was a lot of preparation to get the right camping gear, fishing gear and all that stuff. When I first started it was just, “what do I think I need and what I know I need?” That’s changed as the trip goes. This is a learning experience. I’ve been making changes to my system. I’ve narrowed it down to the things I really need and what’s important.
I’ve really been impressed with how charity: water runs things and the accountability that they have with money that’s donated. That’s why I’ve been really excited about fundraising with them. It’s very cool and a very educational experience. My current campaign ends March 31 and my goal by then is to raise five-thousand dollars. I’m hoping to finish by October, so I’ll be paddling until then.
campaign: Bridge to Bridge
raising the money: Tim, Clay and Isaac
raised so far: $300
mission statement: “We love film, athletics, and just about everything in between, but we know unless you’re doing something positive to improve or change the world for the better then what’s the point really. To that end, we want to utilize the notoriety, and a significant portion of the proceeds, from the film, to generate and promote an organization we love called charity: water.”
So, Tim, how did you hear about the water crisis?
I lived the water crisis. I spent the last two years living in Mozambique. For four of those months, the apartment building we were living in did not have running water. My wife and I carried water bottles every day to our apartment from a local water tank. It was very difficult. We filtered the water every day with ceramic water filters, but fell ill many times, even though the water we were consuming was filtered. Many of the local neighborhoods have hand-dug wells that are not very deep and therefore full of bacteria and viruses. After consuming this water accidentally, I fell ill for two weeks with dysentery. Due to the economic situation of Mozambique, many people live below the poverty line and don’t have money to buy ceramic water filters. We were shocked when we saw the Mozambicans using muddy rain run-off to drink and bathe in.
What inspired you to start a mycharity: water campaign?
We wanted to make a difference in the lives of others. We thought that by doing something radical, we could attract attention. And then we could redirect that attention to serve a bigger cause. We have a passion to dig one well that will provide clean water for over 100 people — their children too, and theirs, on down the generations. This is the reason we are going to get in the water in San Francisco and start paddling south. Our motto tells the story: “Crossing Water to Bring Water.”
Clay, can you give us a basic idea of what a day of paddling will look like?
We’re training for the endurance paddle from the Golden Gate to San Diego’s Bay Bridge — that will be 20 to 30 miles each day. We’ll start at dawn and weather, wind and ocean conditions permitting, we’ll be done each day by one. We’ll come ashore to camp, eat, nap, stretch, work on the film and be in bed by nine. Most of our training has been in the ocean, and we usually try and paddle a minimum of ten miles. When we paddle in flat water, we do sprints and work on our paddle technique. When the waves get good, we love to surf our YOLO paddle boards as part of training.
Is there anything that has been surprising about fundraising for your campaign?
I am very surprised at how difficult it is to motivate people to donate for clean water. We are surrounded by luxury, water included, so it’s very difficult to convince our culture of the basic needs of life elsewhere.
People are sick and dying every day and one of the simplest ways to help prevent sickness and death is to provide clean water. With that said, I am excited to say we have raised over $300 for the campaign and we haven’t even started paddling. I think as we talk more in the community, it’s getting easier. We spoke at a local elementary school in February. Kelly Elementary has adopted our project and the charity: water fundraiser as part of a thematic school-wide educational curriculum.
Back to Tim — do you have any advice for people thinking about starting a campaign?
Do it! Start a campaign. The hardest part is thinking about it, so stop thinking, and just do it. You can make a difference. The smallest amount of money raised helps. You don’t have to do an expedition or a journey to raise money for clean water. Be a voice. Learn. Educate. Persevere. Start a campaign and show the world what people are going through.