Sunday School students raise money for well

When Peggy Mason showed a World Vision Canada catalogue to several Sunday School students last year, she didn’t realize what a touching experience it would be.
Mason, the minister at Lake of the Woods Chapel in Sioux Narrows and the Nestor Falls United Church, wanted to teach the children about poverty and make them aware of what it’s like to live in Third World countries.
“I wanted them to realize there are people out there that need outreach and who are in need,” she explained.
Mason described the general mentality of most children to be: What else can I get? “They are always thinking about themselves and I wanted them to focus on others,” she added.
She recalled the Sunday School children seemed enthusiastic about the idea of raising money to purchase something for people in another country.
“They began discussing what they could buy,” Mason said. “Some wanted chickens, one boy thought a cow would be helpful, and another little boy really wanted to get a well.”
However, purchasing a well through World Vision Canada would cost nearly $25,000—more than the small group would be able to raise—so Mason somewhat dismissed the boy’s idea.
“But he was so adamant and persistent about it,” she recalled, noting he even got a little emotional. “I knew he really wanted it, so I told him I’d look into it.”
Mason then surfed the Internet and found an organization called Lifewater Canada, where it would cost only $1,500 to sponsor a safe drinking water supply.
“I wanted to make sure the company was legitimate, so I looked into it a little further and it looked great,” she enthused.
So the children spent the past year raising the money through hard work and accepting donations, and just recently achieved their goal.
“I really wanted to get the well because chickens could die but a well would last a lifetime,” said Logan Holborn, 11, of Sioux Narrows, the driving force behind the whole project.
He said he had to convince his fellow students, which he thought was hard.
“I stood up in church one day and told my story, and we raised almost $200 that day,” he noted, adding he also made donation boxes that were placed at local businesses.
“It was a lot of work, but it was worth it,” he enthused.
Mason and Logan’s mom, Susan, agreed.
“The kids worked so hard and, at times, they got frustrated and felt they would never raise enough money,” said Mason, noting the children walked dogs, did house chores, saved allowances, held hot-dog sales, and asked for donations.
“It seemed like a big project, and it seemed nearly impossible at the time, but they put in a lot of work,” echoed Susan Holborn. “I’m so proud of him.”
Holborn noted her son believes everyone will benefit from the new water source and that he feels good about what he has done.
Mason said the children also wrote a letter to other Sunday Schools in the area and got a response from Rainy River, which was very encouraging.
Head representatives from Lifewater Canada in Thunder Bay came to a potluck dinner to meet the children involved and they also sent a “thank you” letter to Mason.
“Thank you for your persistent fundraising that has resulted in the sponsorship of this well,” the letter read. “Please thank the young boy in one of your churches who wanted to make a difference, and let him know that he has been instrumental in saving lives.”
Lifewater Canada also included a certificate, which is meant remind them and others of the “on-going need for clean, safe drinking water.”
Mason intends to frame the certificate to place in the church and will make a copy for young Logan Holborn to hang in his bedroom.
Lifewater Canada president Jim Gehrels said the children’s fundraiser was “inspiring.”
“They stuck with it over the year and got it done,” he enthused. “Some people live every day without the opportunity of saving the life of someone else, which is what these children did.”
The well, which already has been finished, is helping the people of Will’s Town in Margibi County in Liberia—a village with 180 people and 60 houses.
“Thanks to Logan’s sincerity, we were able to be successful in helping others,” added Mason.
“I feel really good,” said Logan Holborn, adding he thinks the people in Liberia must have been really excited to have their new well.
The Lifewater Canada website has a page set aside for each sponsored well. The page featuring the 40-foot well in Will’s Town includes a letter written by Augustine Gbolne, the town chief.
“The people of Will’s Town extend their thanks and appreciation to you for your services rendered to their town,” it states. “We were badly drinking unsafe water and your organization save our town from lots of [sickness].”
To make a donation or for more information, visit www.lifewater.ca

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