Katy walkers take up challenge
Supporting the May 4 World Vision 6K for Water was an opportunity for Norma Smith.
“I find it to be an opportunity to do something to help others,” she explained. “I’m not rich but if I can help someone else have some water, I want to be a part of that. I don’t think anyone should be without life. Our bodies need water.”
Smith participated in the first World Vision 6K for Water sponsored by Alief Baptist Church at Katy at Katy Park, 24927 Morton Road.
Katy-area participants also included Nathan and Kristen Le. Kristen said they like to run and participating in the event also met their goal of community service.
“We like to support good causes,” said Nathan. “I like supporting good things.” Both said they are mission kids. He spent time in Vietnam and she in Nepal.
They weren’t alone. Katy Park was just one of 1,000 host sites throughout the world on May 4, said Ryan Cavinder, senior church adviser, World Vision. “The event is really a celebration. It’s an opportunity for people to engage with their brothers and sisters around the world in a unique way. I’m excited to see over 40,000 people take on this challenge and impact their lives and the life of a kid in a community that we serve.”
Robin Long, events coordinator at Alief Baptist Church at Katy, said Pastor Donald G. Burgs Jr. is responsible for the first-time event in Katy. She explained he attended a World Mission kickoff in Orlando, Florida in January with other pastors.
Cavinder said host sites range from churches to businesses to schools. “The same thing at the same time is a pretty unique experience,” he added.
While the nonprofit works to provide clean, safe-drinking water to communities around the world — it is the No.1 provider in the world of sustainable water — it has a broader mission, according to Cavinder. “Really our focus is providing sustainable solutions. Clean water is just one aspect. We take communities from essentially complete poverty to complete sustainability in 15 years.”
The nonprofit raises up and equips peoples in the communities being served so that after World Mission representatives move on, the people in that community are knowledgeable and know what to do by themselves and are self-sustainable, he said.
Worldwide 840 million people do not have access to clean safe drinking water, said Cavinder. But he talked of seeing a light at the end of the tunnel because the 6K provides an opportunity for a person to make an impact. “Walking that 6K that person is bringing clean water to one person for their entire life. We’re starting to put a significant dent into that number (840 million).”
According to World Vision, 6K is the average distance that people in developing countries walk for water.
But there’s more than a walk involved. Each participant receives a race bib with the picture of a child and a folder through which that person can open a relationship with the youngster. Cavinder said the monthly donation made by the participant on behalf of the child goes toward community development work. “It helps build hospitals, schools and puts in place economic empowerment programs that kick start economic growth in communities.”
People who missed the 6K will have another, new opportunity to help World Vision.
Through Team World Vision is about 14 years old, Cavinder said it for the first time will have a team in Houston for the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon next January. Visit www.worldvision.org for more information.
And, Katy-area residents may have a chance to participate again next year. “The walk was successful,”said Long. “Everyone had an awesome time and experience.” It also was an opportunity for people to learn about World Vision and its “great works,” she added.
Long said she’d like to do the walk again next year on a larger scale and with more people engaged.