Opinion

Pledge to drink water aims to change lives

A cup of water. Clean, purified, drinkable water.

What value does a simple cup of clean water have in American society? We are overwhelmed with coffee, soda, and so many other drinks; you can hardly find a party today without bottles of root beer or Coke tagging along.

Every morning, millions of Americans will turn on their coffee machines or Starbucks, McDonald’s, or the local coffee shop to “stay awake” throughout the day with a caffeinated rush of coffee. Every day, we enjoy the carbonated and artificial flavor of diet Pepsi or Mountain Dew. We love our milk and cereal (unless you’re the weird guy who eats cereal plain), our hot chocolate when it’s wintery cold and our lemonade when it’s burning outside.

Tea, coffee, juice, lemonade, espressos, milk, smoothies, cappuccinos—we as Americans are flooded with the dozens of drinks mainstream society advertises to us, and we choose to buy these flavorful drinks on a regular basis, often not even realizing how much money is invested in the fluids we purchase.

How much do you think you daily cup of coffee and other drinks plus that of every other American costs total each year?

Get this.

Americans spend $73.9 billion on regular and diet carbonated soft drinks. When you include all the non-carbonated beverages such as juice, teas, and energy drinks that number rises to $115 billion. Yes, that is $115,000,000,000. Three sets of three zeros.

With all that money, you could to spend your heart’s desires on practically anything you would like—and still have billions and billions of dollars left over. With all that money, you could live all your life and never run out of anything you ever want.

To give an idea of the vastness of this amount, with this money you could purchase 110,000 private jets and buy about 25 twenty-foot yachts—not like you’d ever need all those. $115 billion dollars can be used to an enormous extent and for great good if used in the right hands.

Meanwhile, as Americans indulge in the luxury of sugar drinks every day…brace yourself…millions of people live on less than one dollar a day. 783 million people lack access to a clean, safe water source. 783,000,000.

This number is more than the casualties of war and terrorism combined, yet this Global Water Crisis rarely makes media headlines. These are people with real lives, real smiles, real pains.

Unclean water destroys people’s time—40 billion working hours are lost simply walking to reach a water source that isn’t even clean. It destroys their education because 443 million school days are lost each year because water-related diseases cause children to fall ill, and they may even have to skip school to fetch water.

Lastly, and most importantly, it affects people’s health. Dirty water takes people’s lives. Dirty water kills them. Without a safe source of drinking water, typhoid fever, dysentery, intestinal worms, cholera, hepatitis A, and other illnesses are potential results from consuming dirty water. This is the Global Water Crisis, and it affects the multitudes of people—some without even hope.

So, what if we, as people following Christ, sought to change this? What if we, in our extreme purchases of sodas and drinks, sought to end the crisis that claims so many lives? What if we as a school decided to sacrifice so children around the world may have life? What if we pledged to give up drinks for 10 days and gave the money we saved for clean water?

Welcome to the 10 Days project.

Together, we can tell people about the unending love of Jesus Christ. Together we can say “No!” to the disgusting $115 billion spent on drinks in America and devote ourselves to restoring people who are in desperate need of clean water. Together, we can impact people who are really just like us—in absolute need of a redeeming Savior. Will you join us in this challenge and commit to changing lives around the world?

Together, we can make a difference.

Together we can save lives.