August 25, 2010

The Finale and Return 

By John Deason
Lipscomb College of Pharmacy
Namwianga, Zambia

john deason zambia

The clinic went very well.  We saw easily 3,000 plus patients a day and were out there for 6 days for a total of well over 16,000 patients in the end.  The other two villages we visited were not as exuberant in the welcoming, but they were happy to receive medical attention nonetheless.  I found I became rather adjusted to being completely covered in dirt while out there.  I’ll give credit to my dad for all those camping trips.  So even when we came back from the bush I really didn’t rush to go take a shower.  I turn 26 on the 26th of the month along with a new found friend Molly who turned 21.  They serve Mac and Cheese for us and I received a double helping of chocolate pudding at Supper.  All in all I dare say I couldn’t have had a better location for a Golden Birthday!

Our primary concern is collecting data for one day implementing a computer into the mission.  Each day me, Britt, Dr. Staggs (who insists I call him Bill), and Brandon Post (our tech guy we could not have survived this trip without) work on getting our quota of data we need to see the most common complaint, diagnosis, and medicine dispensed.  Once we achieve that, we work in different areas.   Most chose to stay in the pharmacy and lend a hand.  I usually go to various departments and see what they’re up to, which naturally means I get to lend a hand.  

Once all the clinics were over and everyone was taken care of, the entire group (minus most of the Zambians) went to Livingstone for a short break before we headed back top the States.  There we took in the sights such as Victoria Falls and a Beautiful Sunset Cruise.  It was also an opportunity to say goodbye to everyone that might not be on the same flight back.

Its incredibly hard for me to explain how I felt in those few days.  I had spent so much time in an area where electricity wasn’t even a guarantee, and yet, here we were in a pleasant little hotel with hot showers day and night and all kinds of places to eat and hang out.  It took some time to adjust, but I think the hardest feeling for me to face was that I soon would be leaving.

It’s so strange; after being here for so long, I found that Namwianga had become a home to me; the people I stayed with and the Zambians my family.  Working hand in hand with them, spending every minute of the day with them, and sharing our lives with each other really formed bonds that are difficult to describe...  As much as I desired a moment alone to collect my thoughts (you rarely get a chance to yourself with so many around), the idea of leaving them knowing you won’t see each other for a considerable amount of time, was unbearable. 

Goodbyes were eventually said in a bustling Dulles Airport while we clamored to find all of our luggage and rush to catch our connecting flights (some of which weren’t caught).  There was a sincere look in the eyes of each person I hugged and wished safety for in the next leg of their journey that they too would be missing each and every one they had spent just a fast paced, hectic, yet so beautifully wonderful time with.

Loneliness really didn’t register until I was on my flight back to Nashville.  As I looked back on the nearly two months spent in Zambia, I could only smile.  Only the best of memories kept coming back into my mind, though I know I had some hard days and times where I lost my temper, none of that seemed to be relocatable in my memory.   I knew God had granted me a wonderful time.

I was almost lost to my thoughts, then I saw the green hills of Tennessee.  It’s funny how you just know when you’re over your own State.  Instantly my heart skipped a beat.  All of my friends and family that I had been missing for so long came rushing back into mind.  For the first time since the trip began, I just jumping out of my seat wanting to be back home.  I landed to hugs and hellos and the rest is history.

I was talking to my friend about my trip, when he asked, “We’ll did you find what you needed while you were there?”  I replied, “Yes, I got everything I needed and have come back with new wants that I never knew I’d have!”  I explained that God was gracious in letting me look into the window of what he wanted from me out of my life.  While I didn’t come prepared to work and perform all the tasks I wanted to do, I was comforted by the fact that this is why I am still in school and why I was led to pharmacy to begin with.  I fully believe that God intends for me to come back and prepare myself, because next time I won’t be looking into a window, I’ll be walking though a door.

Praise God for this trip and for all those who have made it possible.  More importantly, thank you for all those who have taken an interest in reading this blog and praying for my on this journey!

 

August 16, 2010

by Brande Jackson

Water = Hope made it out to three different cities this past weekend in Florida: Daytona Beach, Tampa, and West Palm.

We stepped off the bus in the morning and were pleased to see we were surrounded by all sorts of Daytona Beach fun, including a water park, carnival and the beach a short walk away. We ventured over to beach and walked around for a bit before we had to meet our awesome volunteer crew for the night. We had Michelle come out and bring her husband Derrick, her mother and her nephew Dustin. Michelle was an employee at the local Old Navy store, and took part in their volunteer program (much like our Gap girls that we met in Cleveland). Because she took the time to come out, Old Navy will make a donation to Water = Hope!!

water hope tampa

We love seeing more retailers encourage their employees to volunteer like this, and we really appreciate the effort that Michelle and her family put in to make our time in Daytona a great experience!

Next we headed to Tampa where the whole H2O crew, as well as some of the artists, took part in a hundred foot high water slide!! After that we met our crew, which consisted of four high school friends who were last minute add-ons from the waiting list and were really great. Sophia, Stephanie, Kelsey and Sarah were working to fill community service hours for their school and said they had a lot of fun working with Water = Hope and wanted to volunteer with us again. We also had Jamie come out and volunteer, who was very passionate about the water crisis and a lot of other issues that affect third world countries. She was working with a program that requires applicants to volunteer with different organizations and then in return they set you up with volunteer opportunities abroad.

water hope daytona beach

Toward the end of the night we had Andy and Joel, who are musicians that play with Steel Magnolia which is a part of the H2O tour, come by the tent and pick up some Water = Hope shirts. Keep an eye out for them to appear on stage!! Thanks for a great night Tampa!

Our last stop on our tour de Florida was West Palm Beach where we prepared ourselves for a sold out show. We met Jillian, Katelyn and Stephanie who worked hard with us to spread the word about Water = Hope to the people of West Palm. They worked hard into the night and helped us have our best donation night of the three cities! We were very impressed by that, especially considering we only had the three girls working with us. Thanks for your hard work girls!!

water hope west palm

We’re headed to North Carolina next, visit us as waterequalshope.com/volunteer to sign-up!!

 

August 19, 2010

by Brittany Lattimer
Lipscomb College of Pharmacy
Namwianga, Zambia

brittany lattimer ZMM 

The Zambia Medical Mission is an annual event that has been taking place since the 1990’s.  Every year Americans and Zambians come together to host clinics in four different villages in the southern province of Zambia.  This year those clinics were held in Simalundu, Kapaulu, Nazibbula, and Mabuyu over six days.  Back in the ‘90s it began as a much smaller operation but has blossomed over the years to now include about ninety-six Americans and over one hundred Zambians.  Everyone that participated, which included doctors, nurses, dentists, etc. who took time off from their jobs to volunteer to help serve others.  It was amazing to be surrounded by so many optimistic people willing to serve God and the people of Zambia.

It was quite an amazing thing to be a part of and to be able to witness this event from a first hand perspective.  Let me briefly describe how the medical mission is set up.  A line begins to form early in the morning before the clinic opens around 8 am and will remain until around 5 when the clinic closes.  There are nurses that will triage the patients and determine which station they need to go to.  The different stations included wound care, lab, eye care, dental, spiritual, children’s ministry, and medical.  Over the course of six clinic days almost 20,000 people were seen, over 501 clean delivery kits distributed, 96 people baptized, over 50 cataract surgeries performed, over 50 wheelchairs given away, and 2 babies born.

I was lucky enough to be able to witness one of the births.  Let me say first and foremost how resilient and strong the Zambian women are.  The baby was breeched and although she did not receive one drop of anesthesia she did not scream even once during what I know had to be a grueling labor.  It was amazing to be able to witness a human being coming into the world.  It’s not often that you get to do that.  Unlike many women in such remote areas, she was able to be assisted by a doctor, nurse, and a midwife. 

Many women are not so lucky to be able to receive the assistance of doctors, nurses, or even midwives.  That is where the clean delivery kits come into play.  These kits contain a candle, matches, a razor blade to cut the umbilical cord, a string to tie the umbilical cord, a plastic sheet to provide a clean delivery surface, a blanket, and an outfit for the baby.  According to an organization called Path, over 1,600 women die per day from childbirth complications and over 950,000 newborns die per year from infections.  That’s why it great that we were able to distribute 501 clean delivery kits, because they help to reduce these numbers.  Unfortunately we ran out, but it will make a huge difference to the 501 women who received them.  It was great to be able to participate in such a huge operation and it was remarkable to see so many people in one place.  I really hope that I can participate in this again in the future.

August 12, 2010

by Brittany Lattimer
Lipscomb College of Pharmacy
Namwianga, Zambia

brittany lattimer fam planning 

When we live in a country with more forms of contraceptives than you can count it is hard to imagine that every country does not have the same resources.  When I went to Zambia I never realized how difficult family planning could be for many couples.  Many do not use birth control not because they do not want to, but because it isn’t as easily accessible. In Zambia usually bigger families with five, six, or seven kids is the norm because they do not have many options.  According to an article on Unplanned Pregnancy Statistics by Diana Bocco, the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York estimates that up to 49 percent of the pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned. This includes pregnancies happening both inside marriage (or monogamous relationships) and those happening to single women.  So you can imagine how surprised I was to see this statistic about the United States when we have one of the most progressive health care systems in the world.

In Sub-Saharan Africa,  Niger has the highest percentage of any country in the world, at 233 unplanned pregnancies per every 1,000 women.  It’s very easy to see why there would be so many unplanned pregnancies in other countries.  Many other countries’ health care systems are not as developed as the United States, and they don’t have access to the same resources.  Most people live too far away from clinics to be able to go regularly, and even if they can go, not all clinics are equipped with the right supplies.  Now compare that to the U.S. where there is almost a drug store on every corner where men and women can obtain contraceptives. 

In many areas in Africa, it can be difficult to just get an STD test because of how far they are away from clinics or hospitals.  In the U.S. there are endless possibilities of places where you can get testing done.  Physicians offer these services in addition to the public health department, and if you’re in college most health centers can also perform these services.  Most of us take for granted the ability to be able to jump in the car and drive ten minutes to have these types of services performed.  Majority of people in more rural areas of Africa rely solely on walking as their transportation. 

Also though some STDs are curable, certain ones like HIV/AIDS will be something that you will have to treat for the rest of your life.  Most people in the U.S. do not realize how blessed they are to be able to have access to so many forms of birth control and don’t take full advantage of resources that they have. 

 

August 12, 2010

www.facebook.com/georgewbush

Clinton Bush Haiti Foundation

President Bush traveled to Haiti this week to witness the rebuilding efforts firsthand, meet with Haitians about their immediate needs and future hopes, and visit with organizations that are assisting in the rebuilding effort with support from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

During a visit with mango farmers after he arrived, he said, "Our goal is to help this society go from one that is dependent on aid to one that can grow its way to prosperity." A grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund will benefit an initial group of up to 5,000 mango farmers and their families. We hope this model will help transform the entire mango sector, increase exports and incomes, and ultimately benefit 25,000 mango farming families in Haiti.

george bush w mango farmers

President Bush met up with his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, while visiting GHESKIO in Haiti. To watch Jenna’s report, check out NBC’s Today Show segment:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/38655176#38655176

george w gheskio staff

President Bush met with Dr. Jean W. Pape and GHESKIO staff, clients, and patients at a medical clinic in Port-au-Prince. In the aftermath of the earthquake, GHESKIO has provided emergency health care, shelter, micro-loans, and humanitarian assistance to thousands of Haitians with support from a Clinton Bush Haiti Fund grant.

President Bush visited with INDEPCO leaders and workers in Port-au-Prince. Garment manufacturing is one of the most important industries in the Haitian economy, and the INDEPCO association of apparel micro-entrepreneurs is helping keep the industry running by fulfilling orders for school uniforms and other garments, and by housing seamstresses and tailors whose workshops are being rebuilt. CBHF’s grant to INDEPCO will allow it to repair a key building to house displaced ateliers, complete an order for 40,000 school uniforms, and employ more garment workers by expanding its network and sales.

george bush w indepco leaders

 

To help our neighbors in need, please visit www.clintonbushhaitifund.org  and give what you can.

August 2, 2010

by Jodi Southerland
East Tennessee State University: College of Public Health
Appalachia Region

Highlight the good – This summer has been extraordinary. I have been given an opportunity to see first hand how one or two committed individuals can make a positive impact on an entire community. Over twenty years ago, one man was impacted by the needs in his community. It began with one can of food distributed by one man and has since developed into a multi-faceted grassroots organization – Of One Accord, Inc. – which provides vital services to its community members. But in addition to these services, the agency wears many hats. It’s a social network – community members from every walk of life congregate together and discuss ways to improve the living and working conditions in their communities or they simply stop by to say ‘howdy.’ It’s an advocate – men and women, young and old identify local needs, voice their concerns and develop initiatives that are sometimes provocative, sometimes cutting-edge and sometimes counter cultural. It’s hope – over 300 committed individuals volunteer with the agency each year, many year after year, and willingly give of themselves, their time and resources to lend a helping hand to someone in need.

Inspire greatness – Over the past few weeks, I have experienced every emotion possible…elation, laughter, sadness, joy, hope and inspiration. I have learned the stories of our precious seniors. I have cried with them as they tell me stories of loss and hardship. I have laughed with them as they tell me stories about the ‘good ole days’ – pickin’ berries, churnin’ butter and makin’ music out on the front porch. I have been inspired by their tenacity and strength and I have also shared in their grief when I am told stories of how they feel forgotten by family, friend and community. These seniors are a walking history, living testaments, a repository of knowledge. We have learned together one from another. And although I can sense that I have impacted their lives in meaningful ways through various health promotion activities, these men and women have also educated me. Through their life stories, I have learned how to cope during crisis, how to manage with limited resources and how to cook up some good vittles even if the cupboards are bare!

Encourage mutual responsibility – It’s just plain old simple mathematics! There is strength in numbers. When people join together for a common purpose, we can make a world of impact. My friend, Sue, is someone making a world of difference. Together, we can make change happen. We can empower our communities through citizen engagement. We can mobilize other likeminded community members and promote social responsibility for health. One by one, we can make lasting change! And although there are unique challenges facing rural communities, a little hard work, grit and determination by one or two local residents can = a thriving community of hope. A big shout out to Big Kenny Alphin and the Love Everybody Foundation for making this opportunity possible here in Appalachia!

July 26, 2010

by John Deason
Lipscomb School of Pharmacy
Zambia

            To fill you in on the rest of the events that have happened, my days at the clinic are all but over for this trip.  In the days leading up to the mission I was needed to much here to get things ready.  Once all the team members arrived (all 220 of them) things really got crazy, but I was very impressed to see how all the organization and planning really keeps things moving smoothly.  Meals are held in a large field of chairs behind the house and there is no where you can go without running into someone.  It’s nice be around so many people, but also a little hectic.

            The day of the first mission required us to get up an extra early (since I was on the advance setup team), grab a quick breakfast and start packing the lorries for the long haul to Simalundu.  Despite the early start and having to setup most of the camp with only a small fraction of the main group, the benefit of riding on top of all the piled up sleeping bags on the uncovered lorry was well worth it.  It made a very long, slow and bumpy ride rather relaxing.  I even got a short nap in.

            Once we arrived, we were greeted by a group of Zambian villagers singing songs of thanks for our arrival; it nice to have such a warm welcome. Thankfully, we were able to get everything ready before the main team arrived, and more importantly, before dark!  It was nice to finally be finished and have a hot meal. 

            After eating. my new found friend Britni (a doctor from South Africa) and I went to go see what all the commotion we were hearing from the village.  We arrived to see almost a parade of Zambian dancers singing to the moonlight in celebration of our arrival.  We were soon surrounded by many of them asking us questions from who are favorite football (soccer) teams were to if we were married.  They also did their best to teach us more Tonga, and had a blast laughing at us when we couldn’t pronounce the words correctly.

            I went to bed that night with a very big smile on my face.  The Zambians had decided to sing well into the night and the singing and marching carried throughout the entire campsite.  I can’t tell you what it does to a person to receive such a welcome.

            In the morning we set up all the giant canopies that would be our various departments and began the clinic.  I have never seen such lines of people in my life!  After one day of being there we saw over 3,000 patients!!!  The pharmacy dispensed medicine to almost all of them and most got at least 3 prescriptions each for a total of at least 9,000 scripts filled in an eight hour period!  I doubt I shall ever see the likes of such a well oiled and efficient pharmacy.

            We continued on for another day in the same fashion seeing another 3,000 patients and packed everything to move to Kapaulu the next morning (at 5:45 am!!!).  That night the Zambians threw such a celebration of signing and dancing the ground shook at times, granted they were right outside my tent.  If I thought the first night I spent that gave me a warm feeling, then this was red hot in comparison!  Few people back in the States have ever seen the gratitude from such a thankful people.  God be praised I could.

            My group piled into a little bus the next morning and had a long and sleepy drive over to our next destination where we were greeted with more songs and dancing.  The next village was much smaller and healthier than the previous and the day went fast.  We came back to Namwianga greeted by a meal of tacos and chips!  I couldn’t tell you how the American came out in my and I dashed around excited for the meal and the promise of a hot shower after only 4 days in the bush.  It’s funny how the simple pleasures seem so big once you haven’t seen them for a little while.  Multiply the gratitude the Zambians must have had when they are given little niceties, which we so often take for granted, that some have never had in their whole lives!

            God has truly blessed me with such an opportunity to experience all that I have.  Looking in at a country in such need makes me never want to leave it.  Certainly the desire to finish my degree burns even greater with in me now more than ever if only for the simple fact that I can bring more knowledge and skill to this country that could never have to many healing hands.

            We leave out again early tomorrow to go for another 4 days in the bush.  Please be in prayer that we can repeat the same successes we have been having and that our party continues to remain as a whole, very healthy.

by Beth O'Connell
East Tennessee State University: College of Public Health
Cygera, Rwanda

beth HIV class beth dental class

(Above: Beth teaching HIV class, Beth with Dental class)

Final Update from Rwanda

Hand Washing and Safe Water Education

      I have continued visiting individual homes in the village to provide hand washing and safe water education.  Since my last update, I spent three more afternoons visiting homes and have succeeded in reaching all 261 homes in Cyegera  in addition to the previously taught students at Kiruhura Christian College and church in Ruyenzi village.  I am proud to report that total of 1,387 people here have received hand washing and safe water education.  We were initially told by village leadership that there were 256 homes in the village, so I also effectively updated their census information on both number of houses and number of people in Cyegera.

Health Education at Kiruhura Christian College

      Due to holidays and exams at the end of the trimester, my teaching schedule changed several times; however, I rearranged my lesson plans and we successfully completed our public health lessons. The students learned about malnutrition, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted infections, and conjunctivitis, and then wrote a paper on one of these topics to include: definition, causes, consequences, prevention, and a story from related personal experience. They also completed quizzes for evaluation.  The papers and quizzes reflected good understanding of the topics by nearly all of the students.  I discussed mistakes with each student individually who did not receive a perfect score and they appreciated that.  On July 17th, I was honored to attend, by invitation, a meeting of the school administration and parents.

HIV/AIDS Education

On Saturday, July 17, and on Sunday, July 18, two HIV/AIDS classes were held at the church and were open to the public and a total of 110 people attended. Interestingly, many were not members of the school or church, so news had travelled well through the community.  The rapid spread of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa, need for prevention, and methods to prevent the spread were emphasized.   Participants were encouraged to ask questions and they asked many. They are so eager to learn.

Dental Health Education

      Continuing with dental health education I worked with the four employees of the Faith and Hope Children’s Home and also the local church congregation. I gave each of the employees supplies for themselves and their families which will impact twenty people. This is in addition to the students educated previously.  Eighty more participated in this dental education and received supplies at the church. 

Nutrition and Waste-Removal Professional Analysis

      You may recall that while analyzing environmental hazards at the Faith and Hope Children’s Home, I prepared a meal log along with information and pictures on the waste-removal system for analysis by professionals in those fields.   The meal log was sent to a registered dietician for nutrition analysis.  The waste-removal information was sent to a licensed plumber for analysis. I am waiting for their recommendations. I also have pursued information on building raised-bed gardens at the home to help alleviate nutritional gaps. This project is currently waiting for approval by my host organization. I intend to follow through on these unfinished projects even after my official internship experience is over. I feel a personal commitment to them and would like to see the children benefit from their potential.

Conclusion

      I am wrapping up the community and school health education programs and reflecting on my time in Cyegera, Rwanda. Every day has been busy and productive and I will depart knowing the health of the community has and will continue to benefit from my efforts.    I cannot thank Hope Through Healing Hands, the Niswonger Foundation and the ETSU College of Public Health enough for making this opportunity possible - we have definitely made a difference!

 

 

July 22, 2010

Jennifer Hunt
East Tennessee State University
 College of Public Health
Appalachia Region
ASPIRE Scholar/Frist Global Health Leader


            Since my last report, so much has happened! I have completed my survey project of the employees and patients of Rural Medical Services (RMS).  This information will be extremely valuable to the management of RMS in determining the strategic direction of RMS in the future.  I also think this information will be very valuable to the patients of Rural Medical Services.  We received numerous ideas and comments from patients on what they think of RMS and how RMS can strive for improvement in the future.  Overall, the patients and the staff are extremely satisfied with the operations of Rural Medical Services and mostly had only positive comments to make.  Some comments made by both the staff and the employees are worth sharing; they show the perceptions of what a great organization RMS is. 
Comments from the patients:         

  • This place is the best.  Has always taken care of me and found me the best way for me to pay since I do not have insurance.  Thank you.
  • Wonderful staff, very attentive to my every need. Takes excellent care of my children
  • These ladies are the absolute best and most professional women I’ve ever had the honor to know and have came to respect them in everyway.  Thanks for everything ya’ll have done for my family; kids; and myself.
  • Everyone here at the clinic always treats you like family I love them everyone.  They always take the time to see how you are they are wonderful
  • The Nurse Practitioner even called me at home later that night to make sure my child was OK.

The employees, while offering numerous suggestions on the operations of the organization, are equally as satisfied with RMS.  From the employees:

Comments from the employees: 

  • Large company now, but still has values and care for its employees as if it were the small company it was years ago
  • Freedom to do my job without being over managed and being able to take advantage of opportunities for projects as I see best meet the goals of my department
  • RMS plays a vital role in the health care of the communities it serves and I enjoy being a part of that.  Also at RMS everyone is treated as an important part of the team regardless of their position.  We are told from the CEO that we are valuable to the organization.
  • To know that we are serving the most needed people.  Particularly for me this service is a ministry, in which the reward is to see the transformation in the life of the people we serve.
  • Ability to offer medical services and care without regard to patients insurance or financial status

 

I am looking forward to presenting my findings to the RMS leadership, employees, and Board of Directors and getting their thoughts and impressions on the information.

This past week, I attended and helped conduct Migrant Field Screenings.  These field screenings are held at various farms throughout the county.  I attended the screening at a large farm in Parrottsville, TN.   The screenings are held outside and the providers use card tables as their desks and migrant workers come to the screenings after work and are seen by health providers.  The workers include office personnel who answer the phones and use computers, workers who are out in the fields harvesting crops to those working in the packing warehouse.    That day at the farm, the providers saw numerous cases ranging from diverticulitis to diabetes. RMS provides all of these services and medicines free of charge to those wishing to participate.  Though I expected to be there just to observe, I was able to participate by taking blood sugar readings.

In addition to providing practitioners and nurses, Rural Medical Services also provides translators to help with the language barrier experienced between workers who speak only Spanish and providers who do not speak Spanish.  After having their vital signs and blood sugar checked, patients were seen by one of three providers at the screening that day.  Students from the East Tennessee State University’s College of Medicine and College of Nursing were on hand to help the providers.   Various medications were also available to the migrant workforce free of charge.    During their session with the migrant patient, providers also conducted patient education on how to better care for themselves during the extreme heat conditions that come from working in the field to stretching exercises for office staff to help avoid developing carpal tunnel syndrome.  It was interesting to see this process in action and how the providers and staff focused on the care of the patient in spite of language and cultural challenges.

 

by Kelsey Neff

July 19, 2010

We’re back on the road again with the Brad Paisley H2O World Tour, with last weekend’s visits to Chicago and Moline, IL!

waterbottle girl

Friday morning greeted us with hot temperatures and even hotter humidity! The severe temperatures didn’t sway the hardcore country fans, or our even more dedicated Water = Hope volunteer crew! We had a great group of volunteers, starting the day with 12 dedicated do-gooders, consisting of three sets of best friends. We had a group of high school students, and best friends, who had volunteered at other similar shows previously, and collected an awesome amount of e-mails and donations. We had Barry, Bob and Betty who went out into the Water World Plaza to talk to concert-goers about Water = Hope. Bob was an experienced campaigner who had volunteered at a U2 show a couple years back with the ONE Campaign, and he impressed us by raising a lot of money to build wells, working so hard we barely saw him! And last but not least, we had a best friend duo who worked together at a school and were on their feet moving for the majority of the night. Everyone did a great job, thanks to all of you for suffering through the heat with us!

threesome girls

We had a great response from fans in Chicago, raising almost three dollars for every e-mail address we collected! People were very interested in our goals and showed their support in many ways. We met a couple people from Texas who wanted to volunteer for us when we head that way in August, and others who grabbed t-shirts for a bunch of their friends and family. The show was fantastic and the crowd was great. Thanks for an awesome night Chicago!

 

moline crew

In Moline we met Colin and Erica and their friends who were committed to matching the success we had in Chicago, even though we only had a third as many volunteers. They were energetic and passionate about Water = Hope and impressed us with their results. Moline’s crowd was a touch smaller than Chicago’s crowd, but we still got a really good response from Brad Paisley fans. One fan even looked through her phone and signed her whole family up for our e-mail list; she said she knew that they would want to support this cause. We also had a lot of fans stop by our table and then sent their friends back to sign up as well. The support we felt in both Chicago and Moline was really great; thanks for a successful first weekend back Illinois!

We’ll be back on the road this weekend hitting up Cleveland and Saratoga.

In August, we’ll be in Texas and Florida; visit the Water = Hope website to learn more and volunteer: http://www.waterequalshope.com/

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