International (MNN) — Over 884 million people worldwide still use unsafe drinking water sources, according to a 2008 UNICEF report.
This holiday season, many churches are working to provide cleaner water for impoverished and desperate people around the globe. These churches are bound together through International Aid to provide HydrAidTM BioSand Water Filters in the homes of families that otherwise have no access to clean water.
Several different initiatives are being taken by American churches. One church in Arizona is petitioning grandparents to pay for sponsorships for the filters in the names of their grandchildren rather than buying them material items for Christmas. They believe this will not only help recipient families, but will also teach the next generation the importance of giving.
Another church raised money through their summer Vacation Bible School program to provide filters for 20 different families, teaching children about the water crisis and generosity along the way. One Michigan congregation raised enough money to provide 61,000 HydrAidTM BioSand Water Filters in Honduras, potentially raising the health status in that country by 10%.
Some churches with strong ties to overseas congregations are supporting filters for people with whom they have already built relationships. A church in Indiana, for example, has been highly involved in Southern India and has experienced the effects of unclean water first hand. This church has decided this Christmas to address the issue by training to personally install IA's filters, hoping to provide clean water as they continue to provide education and economic assistance.
Other churches are simply taking special collections to support filters around the world and to help reach IA's goal of installing at least 300,000 filters worldwide.
If your church would like to help with IA's water filter initiative this Christmas or at any time during the year, click here.