Campaign to watch: Making a splash for clean water!

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What could be better than fundraising for clean water? These guys would probably tell you it’s fighting the global water crisis while being out on the water! We have not one, but two awesome campaigns that are making a splash to give people clean drinking water.

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campaign: Paddle for Wells
raising the money: Josh Tart
raised so far: $2,185
campaign goal:$5,000
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!”


Growing up around canoeing and kayaking, Josh gained a passion for being on the water. After college, he decided to combine his passion for water sports with his desire to bring people clean water — now he’s kayaking 6,000 miles around the eastern U.S. and Canada! We talked with Josh to get a little insight into his campaign and his experiences as he paddles for clean water:

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.

Josh gives the rundown on food and cooking.

What did you do to prepare everything for
your adventure?

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.

Are you logging miles daily?
I’ll sit down and I’ll look at my maps at the beginning of the week. I’ll pick out a point and plot out all the mileage. If I’m re-supplying or meeting somebody, I’ll pick out that point and I’ll just make that my goal. Every day when I wake up — I gotta do at least this many miles. I’m paddling about five or six days and then I’ll stop for a day or two and rest and re-supply. The longest consecutive days of mileage I think was ten or eleven days. Sometimes strangers put me up with a place to sleep, something to eat. I had my kind of routine originally with camping, but every stop is a different experience.
The kayak
What have been some interesting points about the campaign?
Some people just think I’m absolutely crazy. Some people just fall in love with the idea. I’ve had numerous people telling me that they’re really jealous, that they’ve always thought about just setting off and doing something like this. I do everything from my phone. I get an email that says “you’ve had another donation.” Whenever I see that, I just get really excited. The whole idea of helping people get clean water is what motivated me to do this trip, so it’s really nice to see success.
What have you learned from doing this campaign?
I learned a lot about myself and I’ve had a lot of time by myself alone with my thoughts. I’ve met thousands of people at this point and the absolute coolest part of this trip was seeing how hospitable people are. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had people give me a bed for the night or just do all kinds of stuff for me. I’ve had many people tell me from looking at my blog, “it’s refreshing to see that there’s still good people in America.” I’ve learned so much so far and I’ve still got a lot to go. I’m not even halfway yet. I have a spot tracker on my blog which is a GPS on my kayak that transmits, so you can follow me in real time.

“The idea of helping people get clean water is what motivated me to do this trip, so it’s really nice to see success.”

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.

Update: Josh is continuing to paddle his kayak for clean water. You can donate to his new Paddle for Wells – Atlantic campaign here >

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campaign: Bridge to Bridge
raising the money: Tim, Clay and Isaac
raised so far: $300
campaign goal:$5,000
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.”

paddle boarding

On the other coast, Tim and Clay are paddle boarding in California and they’re filming a documentary of their dangerous endeavor! They plan to donate some of the proceeds of the film in addition to funds raised by their campaign. Clay and Tim shared some of their thoughts with us:

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.

“People are sick and dying every day and one of the simplest ways to help prevent sickness and death is to provide clean water.”

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.

Paddle your way around the country, sell candy with your school, bake cookies — there’s no limit to what you can do for clean water! Get started here >

World Water Day Previous Let’s make World Water Day all about birthdays. Blog Home They raised money for clean water by putting off their engagement. Next Campaign to watch: Get them engaged! — Part I