Fundraising project to benefit Charity Water

Buljan Middle School Builders Club takes on a watery task
By: Eileen Wilson Special to The Press-Tribune
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It’s cool, it’s refreshing, it’s something millions of us take for granted every day – a nice, tall glass of water. While slaking a powerful thirst is as simple as turning on the kitchen faucet for many of us, plenty of the world’s citizens don’t have it so easy. More than one billion people on the planet don’t have safe or clean drinking water, according to Charity Water, an organization that helps developing nations find safe drinking water. That’s one in six people who go thirsty. But a Roseville middle-school club hopes to make a dent in that figure – one water bottle at a time. Buljan Middle School’s Builders Club, a service organization for middle-school students, focuses on service to home, school and community. The 23-member club became aware of the world’s drinking-water shortage last year when Stefanie Spangler, a sixth-grade teacher, told the group about missionary work her sister was doing in Africa. And like the proverbial light-bulb switching on, an idea was formed. What better way to support those without drinking water, than with a fundraiser involving, you guessed it, bottles of wholesome water. Teacher and adviser Luanne Harold, along with then Builders Club president Kira Magnusson, sprung to action, and assisted students in making their fund-raising efforts a reality. Club members developed a motto for their water sales, H2OPE, and designed a logo to fit around water bottles. The kids procured logo labels free of charge, and also ordered carabiners with the logo engraved on them. The group presented their cause to the student body in every physical education class, and also hit up local organizations like Palmer Signs, Safeway and Roseville Kiwanis, which donated to the project. Builders Club students sold their customized water bottles during the school day, and at various events. Harold, who teaches physical education and AVID, a college-preparatory course for middle-school students, explained the type of kid who participates in Builders Club. “The kids are intuitive – the type who knows the right thing to do is to do things for other people,” she said. The club raised about $800 last year, but they haven’t met their goal yet. They hope to raise a total of $1,500, which they will send to Charity Water, a nonprofit group that uses 100 percent of donations to partner with local organizations in developing countries to build wells that will provide clean, sustainable drinking water to thousands of people. According to Charity Water, women and children in villages may walk more than three hours every day to obtain water that is likely to make them sick. In some developing countries, illness and disease cause more deaths than violence or war. Buljan students hope to put a stop to ailments caused by poor sanitation and lack of good water in at least one village. While African families will be the recipients of Buljan kids’ efforts, the students have gained valuable insight from the project as well. “Builders Club members got to work together to make a difference to the world,” said member Isi Iyoha. “I didn’t know how many people were suffering, but now it opened my eyes. Now I want to get more involved and make a difference.” Jacob Priley agreed. “It was a wonderful project which allowed us to help make this world just that much better,” he said. In addition to Charity Water, Builders Club has supported charities like St. Vincent de Paul, Placer SPCA and a cat sanctuary in Auburn. But for the near future, their focus will be water – the stuff of life itself. For more information or to donate to Buljan Builders Club contact Luanne Harold at 771-1720. For information about Charity Water, visit www.charitywater.-org.