Story by Courtney Scoby, Contributing writer
A student organization working to improve the quality of water across the planet is making waves on campus.
WAVE, an organization affiliated with Living Waters for the World, raised $1,000 last semester to go toward water purification systems in locations all over the world that lack access to clean water.
Living Waters for the World is a Christian ministry that works with mission teams to help provide sustainable cleaning water for communities in need.
Professor Roger Weis, the faculty adviser for the club, said he was impressed with the money raised so soon after the organization’s genesis.
“I thought $1,000 was really good for the first semester,” he said.
The money was raised in a variety of ways throughout the semester. Volunteers for the organization wrote letters to ask for donations, collected funds individually and planned fun activities on campus for students to participate in.
“We mostly did it through a water bottle coloring program,” he said. “We made images of water bottles and you could color them with water colors for $1.”
The purification systems that Living Waters for the World installs cost about $3,500 each. However, the cost of putting the systems in place is not the only cost to consider.
“It’s hard to maintain the purification systems because bacteria and viruses can easily get back into the systems,” he said. “So you have to make sure they’re not only put in but maintained.”
While WAVE leaders are proud of the amount they have raised so far, they are already making plans to raise even more. Weis said his tentative goal for this year is $2,000.
“$1,000 this semester, $1,000 next semester,” he said.
The organization plans to use some of the same methods of fundraising that proved successful last semester, while implementing new ideas as well.
“We’re going to have something called a ‘Splash Down with WAVE,’” Weis said.
This event will involve a water balloon tossing competition that students will be able to enter as teams. A time and place have not yet been set for this event.
One water purification system may cost $3,500, but WAVE is focusing on one donation at a time.
“Every $1,000, we’re going to have a ceremony and write a check to Living Waters for the World. Now we’re working on our second one,” Weis said.
The organization is still in its beginning stages, so there are a couple of open officer positions waiting to be filled, but leaders aren’t worried about finding interested students.
“The kids love it,” he said. “They have a really good time with it, because they know exactly where [the money] is going.”
Although the group is run by students, WAVE is not exclusively a student organization.
“It’s connected to a couple classes, but really it’s mostly by volunteers,” he said. “Anybody can be a part of it, any student, faculty or staff. They’re all invited.”
The next WAVE meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in Carr Health Room 107.