In looking for additional ServeHere ministry partners this Spring, we were thrilled to discover Water to Thrive — a local non-profit with an international focus. Water to Thrive has an innovative and participatory approach for bringing clean water to communities in Africa that desperately need it. A great relationship developed between our organizations, and we are thrilled to have UT communications major Kemper Hamilton spending her summer developing marketing outreach and social media programs for Water to Thrive.
In our initial meeting, Water to Thrive’s founder and Executive Director, Dick Moeller, quickly caught the vision of ServeHere and came up with a terrific suggestion: field trips where our students can meet with the leaders of the various non-profits where their colleagues are serving. So, we were very happy to make Water to Thrive one of our first field trips of the summer!
Our gracious hosts provided a great perspective on how God turned an adult Sunday school class project into an impactful organization that has brought more than 500 wells to impoverished communities in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Operationally, Water to Thrive has pioneered two innovative approaches that help set them apart from many other non-profits by:
- using a unique fundraising approach to ensure every dollar donated for a water well goes entirely to providing the well and not administrative expenses
- partnering with local experts in Africa in order to both reduce operational overhead and maximize the impact they can make in each community
Both Dick and Marketing and Outreach Manager Lizzie Kovach shared their personal stories and the decisions they made along the way that led them to a life of serving, regardless of where they worked each day.
In addition to the time spent with Dick and Lizzie, the ServeHere students also engaged in a thoughtful discussion about their summer book reading assignment “No Greater Love”. It was a fitting location for this exercise, because it’s a story of a young businessman and his family move to the wilds of Ethiopia to care for orphans in communities like the ones Water to Thrive currently serve!