Walk hits historic highs for participants and contributions to fight global water crisis

photo by Jeanne Reynolds

Beaufort County residents from both sides of the Broad River laced up their walking shoes and banded together to raise a record $84,000 in the seventh annual Beaufort County Walk for Water to fight the global water crisis.

            Participants met at Live Oaks Park in Port Royal on Sept. 16 and Wright Family Park in Bluffton on Sept. 23, carrying buckets for about three miles to symbolize the walk millions of women and children in developing countries make daily to collect water that’s often contaminated. The event raises money for Water Mission, a Charleston-based Christian engineering organization that builds sustainable safe water solutions in developing countries and disaster areas.

            Even more important than the number of registered walkers — also a historic high at 715 — and the money raised is what those efforts will help achieve: a life-changing difference for people in desperate need of clean, safe water for a year.

            “We all woke up this morning not wondering where we’d get water to drink, and if it would be safe. Two billion people around the world can’t say that,” Mary Howell, Water Mission’s senior director of community involvement, told the crowd gathered in Port Royal. “Every 37 seconds someone loses their life because of water. The work we’re doing here together is going to change nearly 2,000 lives.”

            David Foland of Port Royal said he’s participated in the Walk for Water for the past three years. “It’s so important to get water to

photo by Paul Nurnberg

people who don’t have it. It’s one of the basics of life. We have water and the rest of the world needs it, too.”

            Kathy Wiles of Beaufort, another three-year veteran of the Walk, agreed. “It means so much to have clean, fresh water,” she said. “I love all the support from people who come out and do this.”

            Megan Cook said she’s been traveling from Savannah to Beaufort for the Walk since 2018. “I always come. It means a lot to me. I’m a water engineer, so providing clean water and sharing the love of Jesus are my two favorite things.”

            For more information or to donate, visit the Beaufort County Walk for Water website at https://walkforwater.rallybound.org/walk-for-water-beaufort or call (843) 769-7395.

About Water Mission

Since 2001, Water Mission has used innovative technology and engineering expertise to provide access to safe water for more than eight million people in 59 countries. Water Mission has 400 staff members working around the world in permanent country programs located in Africa, Asia, North, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. Charity Navigator has awarded Water Mission its top four-star rating 15 years in a row, a distinction shared by less than 1% of the charities rated by the organization. Learn more at watermission.org.