Turning coins into water

Students involved with the National Honor Society at Marietta High School are teaming up with World Vision in order to launch their “Clean Water Campaign.”

“The goal of the campaign is to provide one well for a community in Africa that costs a total of $13,700,” said Michael Reese, president of the National Honor Society at Marietta High School.

The organization they are working through, World Vision, is a humanitarian organization that works with communities worldwide to help prevent poverty and injustice, according to its website www.worldvision.org.

On Monday the members of NHS gave a presentation to fellow Marietta High School students, with the goal of mobilizing as many helpers as possible.

“This project seemed like the right fit because water was an issue that continued to show up in our research about international issues,” said Esther Dehmlow, NHS member.

Some of the things the students discovered during their research really surprised them, they said.

“One of the statistics that really stuck in our minds was that unsanitary water conditions or lack of water in general was the No. 1 cause for preventable deaths in third world countries,” said Dehmlow.

Dehmlow has seen the need for clean water firsthand when she went on mission trips with her church to Haiti and Ghana.

“We live in a country where we have clean water readily available to us, but not everyone is that lucky,” she said. “This is a project that we will really be able to see an immediate impact with, if we can raise the funds.”

The group’s slogan “Every drop counts” is posted on all the cans they put out to collect money from their coin drive. The drive started Monday and will continue until May 17.

Along with the coin drive the group is planning several other events including a bake sale, a special day for the students at the high school and a concert that is open to the community, according to Reese.

“The bake sale will be held in April sometime at Christ United Methodist Church, and the concert will be May 11 from 7 to 10 p.m. at MHS,” said Reese. “We are still working out a lot of the details for the events, such as when the bake sale will be, what will be included on the special day for high school students and who will be playing at the concert.”

According to Reese the concert will feature local talent and tickets will be in the $10 to $15 price range.

The coin drive is the main fundraiser for the cause and MHS will be competing with Warren High School to see who can raise the most funds, according to Ameila Gulick, NHS member.

“Warren students and officials were kind enough to help us raise some funds through our coin drive with a little friendly competition,” said Gulick. “No matter what everyone still wins, because Warren has agreed to donate all of the proceeds they make to our goal.”

Reese admitted that the goal of $13,700 isn’t something they can achieve just through the school. Having the support of the community is necessary if they are going to get there, he said.

“We’ve already reached out to the student body in our school and begun to work with some businesses in the community,” said Reese. “So far we have 11 businesses that have a donation bin for our coin drive and we are hoping to get more willing to do so.”

Reese said so far businesses around the community have been extremely supportive.

“Smitty’s Pizza has generously agreed to make a 50 cent donation for every pizza sold all day on March 27, April 24 and May 15,” he said.

The group’s advisor, Joseph Rabbene, noted that he is extremely proud of the students and the drive they are showing with this cause.

“I really haven’t had to do much because the kids have been so driven to do the work for this project,” he said. “This is something that they are passionate about and it has shown through the efforts they have made so far.”

Anyone interested in making a donation or any business willing to place a collection can in their establishment can contact Michael Reese at 629-1314 or Joseph Rabbene at ma-tjrabbene@seovec.org