The Thirst Project has come to Fossil


Photo Credit: Global Citizen

Macy Fowler

The Thirst Project is not about making people thirsty, it is the world’s largest youth water organization, where they provide small, rural communities with clean water. In 2008, seven college students learned about the global water crisis and realized they needed to become involved to help those who were in need. At first, they did not think about creating the organization, they simply wanted to bring the issue up with students who might not have known about the crisis. Once realizing what true influence they had and raising $12,000 at school speaking events, the Thirst Project was created. The Thirst Project was officially created in 2011 and within the seven years that Thirst Project has been on its feet, they’ve raised over $8 million with the help of students all across the United States. Activating students with the knowledge and understanding of the global water crisis, they challenge them to come up with their own fundraisers and ideas to raise money.

Photo Credit: Tama Tea

According to the Thirst Project, providing a community with clean drinking water can reduce child mortality rates by 90% and the disease rates by 88% almost overnight. Someone who has AIDS/HIV in Swaziland is forced to drink the dirty water, yet the contaminants in the water could kill them faster than the disease. Education rates are very low in Swaziland, in part caused by children spending six to eight hours a day walking to get water. Women spend just as much time receiving enough water for their families, having to walk 3.75 miles, which is very physically demanding. The Thirst Project has documented many counts of women suffering from dehydration and chronic fatigue. With better access to clean water, women and children have so many more opportunities and better overall health.

The Thirst Project has Road Warriors, who travel throughout the country and engage with students. Kellin Brewer turned volunteering as a Road Warrior into a full-time project. Brewer joined the Thirst Project mainly because of its youth focus. “I was blown away by this army of altruistic young people and ultimately persuaded by the 100% nonprofit organization guarantee of Thirst Project,” said Brewer. Brewer has stayed at the Thirst Project because of the relationships that he has built and the change he has been able to witness. “Thirst Project brings clean water to those in need, but it also changes the lives of thousands of young people, including my own.” Brewer’s biggest impact has been educating students about the water crisis and their movement to end it. “Being a part of our Thirst Project School Tour as a Road Warrior was insane, in the best way possible. It was by far the most challenging and simultaneously rewarding experience that I’ve ever had in my entire life,” said Brewer. When Brewer was asked if he had any favorite stories he was not quite sure what to say. “My favorite stories though, are those of students that approached me after I spoke and shared their personal stories. Some more touching than others, but on countless occasions I met students that were so moved by the content of my speech that they felt powerful, vulnerable and capable all at the same time. These moments were truly humbling.”

For Fossil Ridge High School students to get involved, you can tell your friends about the Thirst Project, donate directly or donate to the Key Club to help them reach their goal of $6,000. Fossil Ridge Key Club has already raised over $2,000 and helped fundraise money to build half of a well. The Thirst Project was once a small, unknown organization that is now spreading the word of the global water crisis.