First-ever virtual Walk for Water brings more than a drop to those in need
Sarah Folzenlogen knows first-hand the struggle millions of people face every day just to get water for their families.
“I’ve been to Kenya on mission trips and seen how far people have to walk for water — and it’s not even clean water,” theLady’s Island resident said a few days after participating in the Beaufort Walk for Water. “This walk really hits home how fortunate we are.”
Folzenlogen was one of nearly 400 people from across the county (and four other states) who “picked up the bucket” on a 3-mile trek the last two weekends in September as part of Beaufort Walk for Water’s first-ever virtual event. Participants joined one of 24 different teams or walked on their own in neighborhoods and parks in Beaufort, neighboring islands and Bluffton to raise awareness of the global water crisis.
Along the way, they raised more than $58,000 for Water Mission, a Charleston-based Christian engineering organization that builds safe water solutions in developing countries and disaster areas.
The camaraderie of sharing a singular mission with others was part of the appeal for Nena McSween of Lost Island, a veteran participant who walked this year with a small team in Beaufort’s historic district.
“It brings home what children go through day after day, what parents go through trying to get water for their families,” McSween said. “There’s just a great sense of giving back to others, and it’s so easy for us to do.”
The pandemic-produced virtual approach was surprisingly successful, according to walk committee chair Robert Lasher. “We weren’t sure what to expect, but the community rallied around the walk again this year,” he said.
The event attracted plenty of first-timers, too. Brent Jones of Synergy Cycling Studio in Habersham pulled together a team of more than 50 neighbors and customers in less than two weeks after he heard about the event.
“Being a fitness guy, I know the importance of hydration is huge — then think about needing water just to live,” Jones said. “We’re all about helping people live healthier, happier, higher-quality lives.
“The decision to participate was a slam dunk.”