Clean water is something we take for granted in our part of the world. But the volunteers for local nonprofit Share the Blessings know that is not the case everywhere.
Share the Blessings was born out of a cultural exchange trip to Uganda in 2002. Volunteers traveled to the village of Malube, Uganda and were shocked to learn that the drinking water supply came from a muddy pond a mile away from the village.
That group of volunteers returned to the Triangle and committed to an agenda of providing clean water and education in Uganda. Since that time, the goal has become more specific. The group works each year to establish clean water wells in places where holes with runoff had been the only other source of water.
“Every other year or so a group of either parishioners from some of the local churches or students from Duke University have gone over to Uganda on a mission trip,” said Nathan Wagner, a volunteer with Share the Blessings. “The trips introduce the members from our community to members of the Ugandan communities.
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“We go to different places like orphanages and churches throughout Uganda to see what the conditions are and meet some of the people and actually make connections with the folks.”
Wagner was a part of one of those trips in 2008. He said it is an eye-opening experience to visit a country like Uganda.
“Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to imagine that people don’t have fresh drinking water and have to go maybe miles to get a container of water to bring it back to homes where they use it to drink with, bathe with and cook with,” Wagner said.
In addition to the clean water component, the group also focuses its efforts on educating students who have lost one or both parents to AIDS, war or other situations that have affected the ability to pay school tuition and fees. Through fundraising, the group is able to assist some 50 students a year.
Share the Blessings will host its major fundraising dinner from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Cary Senior Center of Bond Park at 120 Maury Odell Place. Tickets are $25 per person or $150 for a table of eight.
The guest speaker is Father Joseph Nyunzi-Kakooza from Uganda who works with Share the Blessings to coordinate efforts on the ground overseas. Part of the program at the fundraising dinner will tell the story of the need for clean drinking water in Uganda through pictures and video.
For more information about the dinner and the work of Share the Blessings, email the group at stbdinner@share-the-blessings-org.
Fall festivals continue at area churches this weekend.
•Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church
will celebrate the season from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26. There will be a Trunk or Treat as well as a cake walk, photo booth, carnival games, a giant slide and cornhole games. The church is located at 4921 Six Forks Road in Raleigh.
•Providence Baptist Church
will host its festival from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25. There will be games, ponies, inflatables and more. Admission is free, and concessions are available for purchase. The church is located at 6339 Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.
The October Coffee House event at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church features the music of Coffee Grinds, a group with a southern, classic rock sound performing contemporary Christian songs.
Coffee House is set for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at Good Shepherd, which is located at 7000 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh.