One group of people who inspire me is the band Jars of Clay. Yes, the Christian band from the 90's, and yes, I love them unashamedly. Actually I didn't love them for many years (perhaps because my car stereo was continually pumping out either the latest Veggie Tales tunes or the soundtrack of High School Musical). But now that I have commandeered some control over my listening pleasures (read: the kids are at school for a couple hours), I have renewed my love for Jars. For one, their most recent album was musically the best one yet. But much of this love is because they are intentional with a capital "I" and I just can't resist people like that. They took a trip to Africa, and after witnessing the devastation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic over there, decided they were required to act on their new knowledge of that situation. They know that if any group of people is jumping in line to help the needy of this world, it absolutely should be the church. So they founded a non-profit called Blood:Water Mission (see link on the right under "These People Inspire Me"). As clean water equals clean blood, which leads to a drastic reduction in exposure to life threatening disease, the organization set a goal to install 1000 new water wells in 1000 communities in Africa, and are quickly nearing that goal.
I don't have a lot of space in my life for humanitarian efforts, but here is one small way I can give, and so can you. One campaign they are doing right now to raise funds is called 40 Days of Water. It's very simple: drink only water for the 40 days between now until Easter, and then donate the money you saved from not hitting Starbucks every 30 minutes to Blood:Water Mission. Whether it's Jamba Juice or wine at a restaurant, sacrifice, keep track of the savings, and give someone in Africa something we take for granted. They say $1 of American money buys fresh water for 1 African for 1 year. Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck. Let's do it. I am, and you know how much I love iced tea. Really really a lot. So long, my Venti unsweetened with extra ice friend. Meet me at Easter.
*notice the 40 Days of Water "beverage fast" corresponds with Lent. I learned that Sundays are not included in the count of days for Lent, based on tradition. So that means you technically get 6 days off.
Check it out here, www.bloodwatermission.com/fortydays.php