FARMINGTON - Imagine walking a 5K each day to retrieve clean water for your family.
Farmington High School Creates Change Club will be raising funds to make clean water more accessible for the school's adopted village in Kopsongol, Kenya. Everyone is welcome to take part in the Walk for Water event Friday, May 10.
Not a drop in the bucket
"The buckets represent what women in Africa have to do to get water every day, and we talk about it a lot about how African women cannot go to school because they are walking a 5K every day to get clean water," said group advisor Elizabeth Beckman.
The Creates Change Club has set a goal of raising $5,000 that will provide clean water for 200 villagers. Students sign up to walk 15-minute shifts and will walk around the track carrying 40-pound buckets.
Last year more than 107 students participated in the first Walk for Water event. Students carried 298 gallons of water for a total distance of 64.4 miles. They used aerobic weights from the school's weight room in place of a water bucket.
"We wanted to be more sustainable and so we were not using water in the buckets," Beckman said.
Next year the group would like to host a community 5K walk.
The district will be busing one third-grade class, some Gateway students and middle school students from Farmington schools to take part in the Walk for Water.
Traveling to Kenya
Farmington senior Terra Lindquist is a leader with the Creates Change Club. She earned an academic scholarship and will be traveling to Kenya from July 12-21.
Lindquist, 17, said she heard about the scholarship from the Stillman Foundation two months ago and was eager to apply. She said she looks forward to representing Farmington High School along with students from nine other schools across the state.
Lindquist said the foundation offered monetary assistance with the Walk for Water fundraiser so the youth can focus on the service aspect and organizing the fundraiser.
Lindquist plans to attend the University of North Dakota in the fall where she will study geology and sustainable studies.
"We don't have to deal with global warming and climate change, because we all live together and we want to make things better," Lindquist said.
Being a part of the club has given Lindquist purpose.
"I have met a lot of fun people and it feels good to help, and from my perspective, seeing other people's lives, I know there are people within our city in Farmington that need our help, and it is kind of a privilege check to see there are people in our town who need our help," she said.
Community service in action
The Walk For Water will challenge students to think beyond themselves, their school and their own world.
"The goal is to get the students to understand where they are compared to other people in the world," Beckman said.
Paige Ostgaard, 15, is a member of Tigers Serve group.
"It is a Tigers service organization and an opportunity to volunteer at many places," said Paige Ostgaard, a member of Tigers Serve group.
Recently, she spent time volunteering and getting to know senior citizens at Trinity Care Center.
"We did activities, games, colored and talked - we had fun and I really like to volunteer and give back to people because I like to see how happy you can make them," Ostgaard said.
Volunteering is not new to this freshman student, but this is the first year she has become part of a volunteer group.
"I am hoping to be involved all throughout high school and I recommend other students take advantage to help the community because you can meet lots of people," she said, adding how everyone can make a difference in small and big ways.