Western Student Helps to Provide Clean Water for Millions

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Missouri Western junior Austin Hoverder partners with “The Water Project” a nonprofit U.S. charitable organization to help raise money to bring clean water to sub-Saharan Africa villages.

“I honestly just wanted to do something for someone else, and it’s such a simple thing that we should all be able to have without question,” Hoverder said.

As Hoverder juggles four majors; Spanish, wildlife biology, marine biology and education, while also being involved in three organizations on campus. She puts her passion, dedication and effort into raising her goal of $1,000 by the end of this year. In an effort to raise money and spread awareness, simultaneously she is selling t-shirts online that can be purchased for just $20, and all  proceeds will go towards the non-profit.

Fresh water is one of our most vital resources and when our water is polluted it is not only devastating to the environment, but also to human health. The wordpress website also provides statistics that show an estimated 801,000 children under the age of five will die from unsafe water this year, and about 844 million will not have clean water this year.

Hoverder’s t-shirts have garnished a lot of attention around campus, and her project has captivated the hearts of many Western students.

“I feel that is one of the greatest acts of kindness. Being able to give to those who actually appreciate our natural resources because these resources are the same ones we take for granted at times. I would love to be able to be apart of an organization such as The Water Project because it’s live changing for these villages overseas,” said Missouri Western senior Octavia Riley.

“It’s very heroic and thoughtful what she’s doing with The Water Project in how she is taking the time out of her days to help those overseas who are less fortunate to be provided with clean water when it shouldn’t have to be like that. One day I have hopes of opening a shelter for homeless people, so her story gives me hope to fulfill my dream of how I want to make a difference in the world,” Missouri Western senior, Cynthia Hall said.

While right now Hoverder’s organization is predominately local, she says she’s open to expanding.

“So far we have raised $100 out of our $1,000 goal, and I have never thought of expanding the project in U.S. states, but I would love to try. Everyday I get to look through the lives of someone else through this organization even if only it’s for a second, and it is the most humbling thing,” Hoverder said. 

If interested in starting your own fundraiser for The Water Project, you can do so by going to the https://thewaterproject.org/start-a-fundraiser to create your own page and campaign. They will set you up with a community in need of a water project, and once construction is finished they’ll send an update with pictures, videos, GPS and a community profile.