USA (MNN) — Friday night lights in a Texas high school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were transformed into an avenue for change. After finding inspiration in an “I Am Second” video, produced through e3 Partners, a believer and high school student at the time, Blake Mankin, took action.
A Texas High School Tradition
Rewind to a year prior, when Blake found himself on a plane headed to the African continent where he found a world starkly different from his own. Instead of an easily accessed faucet with clean running water, hot or cold, Blake found communities lacking access to clean water altogether. When he returned home, he could not stop thinking about what he witnessed while abroad.
“[He] had really gotten this heart for the people there and noticed that there was an issue with the clean water, there’s a lack of access to clean water. It was something that he couldn’t get off his mind and couldn’t get off his heart. It was just always there in the back of his mind…every time he took a sip of water or washed his hands,” says Jeff Johnston, marketing communication manager with e3 Partners.
Inspired by the “I Am Second” video and passionate about the need for clean water, Blake set out to use the homecoming traditions of mums and garters for a bigger purpose. Johnstone says high school football in Texas is as important as college football is for the rest of the United States. Homecoming is an even more serious matter; students will spend between $100-400, or more, creating their mums and garters.
(Learn more about the mums and garters tradition here and here.)
“I Am Second” Inspires Generosity
Rather than spending hundreds of dollars creating mums and garters, Blake proposed a different idea. What if these resources were spent on providing wells for communities in need instead? Thus, the Hope for Africa club was born at Blake’s school.
“He decided he should use his high school’s homecoming as an opportunity to really raise money for these people in Africa that need water, to raise money to build wells to get them clean water,” Johnston says.
“Blake’s idea was…he made these little pins that you can just put on your shirt…He started putting the word out across his high school and across other high schools. ‘Hey, instead of spending money on a garter or a mum this year, why don’t you donate that money to go to clean water for people in Africa to build wells for clean water, and instead just wear this pin’.”
Blake’s idea flourished. The Hope for Africa club raised over $6,000 during homecoming from the pin sales. The tangible result was two wells in Southern Sudan.
(Listen to Blake’s story with “I Am Second” here.)
Get Inspired and Pray
For Johnston, Blake’s story is what e3’s “I Am Second” is about—inspiring people for Christ. Will you dare to be inspired and put yourself second? Find your inspiration through “I Am Second” here.
Pray “I Am Second” videos continue impacting people live second and to live for Christ. Ask God to use “I Am Second” videos to make His love known to believers and non-believers alike.
Header photo by Carlos Delgado on Unsplash.