Water=Hope Campaign Builds Wells and Writes Senators

The Brad Paisley H2O Tour Airs on GAC TV this Weekend

GAC's Top 20 crew made its way to Raleigh, NC this past weekend to catch up with Brad Paisley on his H2O Tour. Dive in and join GAC for the hottest videos of the week and
The Water = Hope campaign spent the past weekend in North Carolina with the H2O tour, getting even more country music fans involved with our campaign to bring people around the globe clean drinking water! We arrived in Charlotte on Friday morning and got to work, setting up for the day and preparing for our volunteer crew. We had 11 amazing volunteer join us: Joe, a volunteer from Cleveland, came out with his friend, and we had several groups of high school and college friends joining us as well.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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