Day 2: Give to Drink | Light the World

Jesus taught:

I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink.”
—Matthew 25:35

There are two types of water: physical to sustain our bodies and spiritual to sustain our souls. Both are necessary, but one has eternal repercussions. I know that the water the Savior gives is the stuff that nourishes souls. After all, Jesus Christ is the Living Water.

But I think we can all agree that physical water is pretty vital to life as well (even to those people who only drink Diet Mountain Dew—cough cough). But not everybody has access to clean drinking water. While we—or at least I—take a glass of water for granted, others do not. Did you know that…

  • More than 1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water.
  • Those people have to haul their water from rivers and streams if possible, but in developing countries, 90 percent of wastewater is dumped directly back into those rivers and streams.
  • As a result, over 1.6 million people die a year from disease. Children are especially at risk. (

Meanwhile, we in developing countries waste our precious water, letting it run while we brush our teeth, drinking half a cup of water and pouring the rest down the drain, and watering golf courses in deserts (have you seen the golf courses in Las Vegas? Talk about wasted water). But it’s hard, because it’s not as if we can transfer our clean water here over there to help; it’s like a parent scolding a child for throwing away food by saying “A starving kid in Africa would love that.” The huge ocean between the child and the one in Africa makes it a moot point.

We can do little things, however. We can donate to charities. There are a lot out there from which to choose. Here’s an overview:

  • LDS Philanthropies – The LDS Church, through its humanitarian fund, supports clean water initiatives. It focuses on building sustainable clean water systems and has helped 380,000 people in 19 countries last year. It hasn’t been rated by Charity Navigator because it doesn’t have to file an IRS Form 990. The donations website states that 100 percent of donations go toward projects. Plus, as a member I can attest to this. The vast majority of people working on the projects are volunteers (service is big in the Church).
  • – This charity has a 96.85/100 rating through the Charity Navigator. It helps finance sanitary water solutions.
  • Charity: Water – With a 92.29/100 rating, this charity gives 100 percent of its money to bringing clean water to people (according to its website).
  • Water for People  – It has a 95.26/100 rating and seeks to help communities find water solutions.
  • Thirst Project – The Thirst Project hasn’t been rated because there haven’t been 9 years of tax filings. But in a few years there will be. However, the website does claim to give 100 percent of public donations to water projects.

Give somebody the chance to experience both the body- and soul-quenching water of life.

Choose Joy.


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