10 days at UMHB
Ten days without coffee, without caffeine, without any beverage except water.
That’s what 10 Days at UMHB is about. And with every sip of water, participants will be reminded of those who have no choice but to drink water — and dirty water at that.
Junior psychology major Jasper Gates became aware of the program which is a part of Living Water International last year and approached the Campus Activities Board about the university’s participation in the event.
“What Living Water does is they are a ministry that provides clean water wells for impoverished countries. They go in, get a clean water system going and they share the gospel. Also they do a lot of sanitation,” he said.
The more Gates looked into the organization, the more passionate he became about doing something. The point of the 10 Days campaign is for colleges across America to give up beverages and donate the money they would have spenton those to build water wells.
Gates knew it was something UMHB could do.
He said, “I believe about 50 universities are participating in this.”
The event started Oct. 10 and goes through Oct. 19. Gates hopes students will continue to join in and support the cause.
“It is campus wide. A lot of people are going around with wristbands and promoting. We are passing out little information cards,” he said. “We hope that it opens a lot of people’s eyes about the water crisis.”
Assistant Director for campus activities Jeff Sutton is participating in 10 Days and is promoting the event through CAB.
He said, “CAB always wants to do a variety of events … that raise awareness of things that are going on around the world.”
When Sutton heard about the event from Gates, he was excited for UMHB to be a part of it.
“This just seemed like the right fit. The fact that we get to partner with other schools across the country, it’s kind of that common bond thing,” Sutton said.
The goal is that in 10 days, the colleges participating would raise $100,000 to provide 10 Rwandan communities with clean and safe water sources.
Though UMHB is smaller than other participating schools, supporters are dedicated to raising money and spreading awareness.
Junior accounting major Audrey Ohendalski is participating in the event and is helping promote it.
“For me, personally, mission has always been something I know is important and something we are called to do as Christians is be missional in everyday life,” she said. “But that’s not something that comes naturally to me, so that’s why I’ve been involved.”
Ohendalski enjoys being part of the event because it causes students to focus on issues beyond themselves.
“It’s been like how do we tell people about this? How do we let people know there is something bigger going on? We are usually so focused on ourselves and getting stuff done for classes,” she said.
Ohendalski realizes that budgets are tight for most college students, but the amount saved from drinking only water adds up quickly.
“If you think about how much money you spend on drinks, it’s about $20 in 10 days. It’s going to be difficult for me to give that money but whenever you look at the video that’s campaigning for it, it’s exciting,” Oheldalski said. “And when you see the videos of the people that live in Rwanda, you realize it really helps them.”
CAB is showing a documentary about poverty called “58” Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. in Shelton Theater to encourage people to get involved in the last couple of days of the event.
“I hope people will come to the documentary. It’s about actually doing it. If you had the option to only drink water and even then dirty water, it just makes you appreciate clean water even more,” Ohendalski said.
She realizes that the small amount students are sacrificing is going a long way to provide people with basic needs and is glad she can be a part of that change.
She said, “My favorite part is just seeing it happen. I like that we are part of this bigger thing involving college students.”