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Imagine carrying a forty-pound jerry can for two miles until your arms start to feel numb; if you witnessed such an event, would you stop and ask what was happening? Several bystanders watched on Friday, March 21 after school as more than sixty volunteers walked around the Queens College Campus carrying yellow gasoline cans filled with water. This was an event hosted by the Seekers Club to share the experiences of those who don’t have access to clean water and to raise money to provide fresh uncontaminated water for developing countries. Overall, as the event raised donations of about $3700 in total (which is estimated to provide 66 people with clean water), it was successful.
Junior Jasmine Hwang described the struggle of carrying the water, saying, “I couldn’t imagine how people walked for miles carrying those heavy cans. I wasn’t able to walk without sharing the burden with someone else.”
Seekers decided to host the walk as their annual charity fundraiser. For the past nine years members took part in “30 Hours of Famine” in which they fasted for thirty hours and collected donations to feed hungry families and children. This year, however, they decided to fundraise for another charity because they wanted to get more people involved.
Seekers president, senior Sarah Han said, “We’ve done 30 Hour Famine with World Vision, and although it was great, we got a lot of feedback saying people wanted to do something more active than fasting.”
Sarah said “We found Charity: Water and realized how serious an issue clean water was and decided to try a Walk for Water.” The club’s advisor, Ellen Fee, also helped them find this organization.
Charity:Water is a nonprofit organization on a mission to provide safe, clean drinking water to those who lack the necessity. Many women and children in third world countries walk at least thirteen miles to the nearest well to retrieve water. They make a portentous journey back home to provide their family with the water that has been already tainted with bacteria. They use the water to cook, clean, and shower unknowingly exposing themselves to dangerous diseases. In order to prevent such deaths, Charity: Water uses 100% of donation money to build water projects (wells and water filters) for communities, depending on their needs.
After the walk, a Thirst Quencher Potluck was held and many were excited for Mr.Fee’s famous pancakes. He has been making pancakes for Seekers charity events for about nine years. Sarah excitedly stated, “I’m especially grateful for Mr. Fee who came back early from the walk to make his insanely delicious pancakes and waffles!”
Mr. Fee enjoyed the experience, saying, that it was “really great to see kids take interest in world problems especially where diseases could be preventable.” He also loved seeing people eat the pancakes he has been making for over thirty years.
Many fellow Harrisites volunteered for the walk, but there were people from other schools who joined in as well.
Senior Candace McCoy from Queens High School of the Sciences at York College stated “I abuse my water privileges and the less fortunate are grateful for what they have. I felt really good as an individual by participating in this walk.”
Just like Candace, for many, the walk was truly an eye opener and a gratifying experience.
Senior Christopher Chan states, “It made me cherish the little that I have and is compelling me to continue working for this cause. “
Senior and Seekers president Stephanie Loo said, “It was a great experience seeing everyone come together for a great cause and struggling together as we carried nearly 40 pounds of water in our arms.”
Senior Chloe Chai, Vice President of Seekers, is grateful to everyone who donated and participated.
“ A lot of people not in Seekers were willing to donate and would go over $30 to raise money. The response was overwhelmingly great. Thank you to everyone who helped, donated, and participated!”