By DEVIN WEEKS
COEUR d’ALENE — Every bucket of water begins with a single drop, and every tidal wave of humanitarian impact begins with a local ripple.
The Coeur d'Alene High School Key Club is acting as that local ripple to combat the global water crisis through its work with the Pacific Northwest Key Club district-wide project for the 2018-2019 school year.
Key Clubbers are once again contributing their voices and efforts to the Thirst Project, the world's largest youth water organization. The Thirst Project educates students around the country about the global water crisis and empowers them to raise funds for world-wide water projects.
"We never really think about water and where it comes from," said CHS project co-chair and sophomore Callia Thornton. "It's nice when we have the opportunity to provide people water who don't have it. Everyone should have this necessity of life and we shouldn't take it for granted."
Thornton and her colleagues are working to raise about $25,000 to build two clean water wells in Swaziland, Africa, which has the highest population density of HIV/AIDS, but a small enough general population that the country's water crisis can be eliminated in just a few years.
Two wells would provide safe drinking water to more than 1,000 people. The PNW district goal is to raise $75,000 and build up to six wells.
"I found it really interesting that all over the world, this is a huge problem," said junior Emma James, CHS Thirst Project co-chair. "Thirst is trying to make it their goal by 2020 to provide clean water for all of Swaziland. It's a small country, but it's a feasible goal.
"What I also thought was really cool was it is an organization that gets the youth out to make the world a better place," she said.
The CHS Key Club, led by Key Club Kiwanis adviser Ashleigh Hathaway, is off to a good start. Members have already raised at least $2,000 and they’ll be hosting another fundraising effort during the CHS vs. Lake City High School football game at 7 p.m. Friday at CHS.
Key Clubbers will be selling $20 T-shirts, $5 bracelets and $1/$2 cookies during the game. They'll also be conducting a "miracle minute" during halftime to collect donations from people in the stands.
"It is a privilege to watch the students work toward their goal of providing life-saving access to clean drinking water for over 1,000 people, most of whom are children," Hathaway said.
The club is actively seeking partnerships and community events where members can continue to fundraise to reach their goal. All proceeds go directly to the Thirst Project cause.
"We need to spread awareness on the global water crisis," James said. "It only costs $25 to supply clean water to one person for life. It's crazy how cheap it sounds to us, but to them, it's a world-changer."
For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, donate at https://my.thirstproject.org/team/187647 or visit www.pnwkeyclub.org/thirstproject.