Kids help kids get clean water
Kids at First Church in Berkeley Springs are learning how to help other kids! They have been raiding their piggy banks for a project called World Vision Clear Water. Each child, a member of a "team," competed to raise money so that kids around the world can have cleaner water. The week-long program occurred June 18-22 at First Church's Vacation Bible School's "Take the Plunge!" and was attended by over 100 children in the local community.
Just a little bit of money can help up to 150 people in underprivileged villages have safe drinking water. The VBS children brought their pennies, dimes and nickels each day in a week-long competition, compiling to an unprecedented total in excess of $2,700, an amount never before seen in the long history of this community organization. According to Children's Ministry Coordinator, Jessica Martin, "The kids at this VBS should be so proud. They have not only helped many kids have cleaner water, but are also on the way to an even more exciting opportunity!" If the adults in the church and community can meet the call of the children, a well can be dug in a needy country for just $5,400.
Staff and volunteers at First Church were touched by the actions of its little people with big hearts. Abby Cowels, just nine years old, said, "I've been to Africa and saw how gross it is for kids there!" She contributed all $20 of her "cat-sitting" money. Others, who barely have left Berkeley Springs, were glad to empty their piggy banks. Violet and Isaac Hott, ages seven and three, brought their coins in sandwich bags so that "kids in Africa could get clean water!" Liam Khuen's mom sent in her bus driving money to split between his team and the team of his brother, Jesse, age eight, and sister, Abigail, age six.
The fund raising competition ended Friday night, June 22, at "Water Wars!" Nicki Cowles, family ministry coordinator, reported that the final total was announced over water games, hot dogs, human Candy Land, Fountain Mountain, Monsoon Lagoon, Beaches in Berkeley Springs, in a celebration of community fun! An anonymous donor matched all nine teams' weekly total, causing the week-long wager of the winning teams' color to be worn in the hair color of the VBS Director and Interns! A "rainbow" of color was worn eagerly not only be the staff, but also Pastor Andrew Cooney.
The children were recognized for their efforts by a surprise visit from a NBC25 reporter during Sunday's Worship Service. Many had the opportunity to share the music and motions of "Take the Plunge" as well as introduce and dance with "Rocky," July's sermon series, centering on the life of the disciple Simon Peter: the Rock.
Individuals, families, or businesses who wish to recognize the efforts of these caring children are encouraged to contribute to the World Vision Clean Water Mission effort to construct a clean water well. Donations may be pledged by calling First United Methodist Church in Berkeley Springs at 304-258-2766 or mailing to FUMC, 13 Green Street, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411. The community is encouraged to "stay tuned" to witness the results at the Family Service, a nontraditional service intended for families of all ages together, on Sunday, July 29 at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m.