Photo courtesy of Alon Gary

Imagine waking up desperate for water. You swing yourself out of bed, you pitter-patter to the faucet to fill up a cup. When you turn the handle, disease-ridden water pours out, unsafe to drink. Or even worse, no water comes out at all. The closest drop of drinkable water is roughly three-and-a-half miles away.

This may seem far-fetched in America, but it is a reality for many in developing nations. This is where the Thirst Project comes in. The Thirst Project is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide developing countries with freshwater resources and water health education. The organization gears its efforts toward simple methods of retrieving water, such as freshwater wells.

Cal Poly club Circle K is an extension of the Kiwanis Club for college students and is a volunteer and service-oriented club involved with local community events and national programs such as the Thirst Project.

The club had been on a nine-year hiatus and was reintroduced this year. Club president and architecture freshman Nicolas Wright felt the need for a service club to be brought back
to campus.

“I really wanted to get more out of that [high school volunteering] experience and offer it to other students too, so I decided to start the club,” Wright said.

So far this year, Circle K has participated in beach clean-ups, a trail restoration and organized many other community events. But this quarter Circle K decided to look beyond the San Luis Obispo community.

“This quarter, we are focusing on getting more involved with the Thirst Project. Nick has been organizing an entire week to try and raise awareness and funds towards [the Thirst Project],” Circle K Secretary and mechanical engineering freshman Weston Montgomery said.

The club has scheduled a fundraiser at Woodstock’s Pizza April 19 and another in May.  It has also planned a “Water is Life” week and will be hosting a guest speaker from the
Thirst Project.

According to Wright, all proceeds made from the fundraiser will go toward the Thirst Project. The club’s goal is to reach at least $1,000 by the end of Fall 2017. Wright and Circle K were interested in fundraising for the Thirst Project in part because of the freshwater well methods they use to provide water.

“They [the Thirst Project] are [providing water] in a way that will work,” Wright said. “It isn’t the newest fad that might work for now, but long term won’t work … [freshwater wells] is a long term solution that has been proven to work.”

For Circle K, the goal is to help those who don’t have the resources developed countries usually have readily available.

“Children and women have to travel miles to go to streams of water and basically fill up gas canisters up to get water. And even that water isn’t always clean,” Montgomery said. “We always take for granted when we turn on a faucet and get water instantly and it’s really great that we have that. But just be aware that there are people out there that don’t have access to water.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *