Last year, I joined Water for Life as Director of Awesome (I have another title. But I can’t remember it and titles are never my personal strength). The non-profit is 100% volunteer based, and giving to this organization has been an essential step in Feeling Like a Contributing Human.
We’ve been working on this Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for over a year now–researching and conferencing and planning and revising. Seriously, you say the word Indiegogo over and over again, and it hurts your tongue after awhile.
We’re trying to raise at least 25k so we can distribute 500 filters to Cambodia. Each filter provides clean drinking water for at least 10 people for up to 10 years, so that’s 5000 lives we are hoping to save. Our stretch goal is to raise 25k more and provide filters in Africa. 25k more? India.
Here’s our general schtick:
We supply high-tech, low-cost water filters to developing countries with contaminated water supplies. Basically, we found a filter that takes all the crap out of water (literal crap, as well as debris, bacteria, disease) and makes that water safe to drink.
People need clean water. We get them clean water. It’s a huge problem that actually has a simple solution. And since 1.8 million children die every year from waterborne disease, we’re passionate about getting these filters out there. We make these distributions by partnering with other charitable organizations, as well as planning humanitarian service trips of our own.
Here’s more about the Sawyer water filtration system we use:
MINI filter: These pocket-size personal filters are great for camping. For exotic honeymoons. For international missionaries. For YOU.
Family filter: This larger filter uses two buckets and is gravity fed. It can filter 150 gallons of water a day for over ten years. It’s also a great addition for your food storage/disaster relief kit.
Our featured perk is our 2-for-1. For $100, you get a mini-filter AND a family filter sent right to your home. We also will send a filter to a family in need.
Wow, Lindsey. I had no idea this technology existed! I am excited/overwhelmed/generous/joyous/touched/eager. So how can I help? Funny you should ask…
FIVE WAYS YOU CAN HELP
1. Contribute: Our Indiegogo campaign runs for the next month. We have “perks” available beginning at $10, but any amount you can donate is fabulous.
Donate and/or purchase filters here:
2. Share: Money, obviously, is great. But spreading the word helps too. Go to the campaign site and link on back, just like I did below. Or write your own Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest/Tumblr/email/blog post about Water for Life. Tell your friends at work or carpool about this. Buy a billboard. Go tell it on the mountain. Hashtag it up #bewaterforlife
3. Create: Here’s an (unedited, amateur) video I made with two of my daughters. They had a lot of fun (and have made two more I still need to edit and post) Our “dirty bucket challenge” involves YOU trying out the filter yourself and is also a great learning activity for your kids…
5. Volunteer: We are always looking for ways to grow the charity. If you have ideas or time, you can go here or email james@bewaterforlife
To those of you who have asked when to help, now would be a great time. Right… now. We’ve had a GREAT start and we want to keep this momentum going.
Your contribution is a drop in the bucket, but drops make ripples.
And with enough help, we can make waves.
So on the internet, and on the bookshelf, 2015 has been a quiet year.
But in Word Document Land (and Google Doc land), I’ve been a busy beaver. Bee. Person.
I have 4 books releasing in 2016! (And at least 2 more in 2017. More on that soon!)
Here are the covers for two of those books.
THE PAGES BETWEEN US, co-written with Robin Mellom, releases February 9, 2016. Behold!
And the first book in the Commander in Cheese series, THE BIG MOVE releases in Summer 2016! (The second book, OVAL OFFICE ESCAPE, releases the same day. One day! Two books! Lots of cheese!
Sometime soonish I’ll update blog/site with more info on these super fun books. But for now, I need to finish the third commander in cheese book, out in… Fall 2016? I think?
Remember me? I lived in you a lifetime ago. I went college at BYU and taught elementary school in Jordan School District. The school was so amazing that, when I left, I felt like nothing in my career would ever match that experience. And in my teaching life, nothing did.
I moved to the east coast, then the south, then back to Vegas. I still visited you during that time. I can’t say I always appreciated you, and naturally I had my reasons. But a few years ago, I did a writing retreat in one of your little mountain communities. My friend, Rachel Hawkins, dubbed your land “The Utah”, We spoke about what life would be like if we lived within you. The fantasies involved chunky sweaters, raspberry shakes, and words that just flowed from our fingertips. I didn’t think I could ever move to The Utah, because my former husband’s job was in The Vegas, and I figured my life would always be built atop the dirt and sagebrush.
Then, my life got flipped upside down, so upside down that it turned right side up. I wasn’t stuck in Vegas because I was no longer stuck to that husband or his affinity for Vegas partying/womanizing. For the first time in my adult life, I was free to make choices for myself and my three daughters. After breathing in that freedom for a few months, it became very, very clear to me that we needed to transition from a southwestern suburb to a quaint, country neighborhood with a stream running right outside. Which is what brought me back to you.
I have a lot of allergies here because things seem to, you know, GROW. A deer I’ve named Anferney eats the flowers I didn’t plant. My town has a main street, and my girls and I swim in assorted bodies of water and eat s’mores. The elementary school has a stuffed, two-headed calf. I have a well-lit office to catch up on some festering deadlines, and friends to visit as soon as said deadlines stop festering (Festering. Gah, that’s an awful word. Sorry). I keep saying it feels like an episode of Gilmore Girls, minus that weird season when Lorelei and Rory didn’t talk.
Utah, I’m a writer now. And just like when I taught school here, I once again feel like I’m with my tribe. Last weekend, I was able to meet with dozens of Utah writers, many of whom I’ve been friends with since I first started writing. Throw a rock in Utah, and you’ll hit an author (especially if you are aiming for one). I love being one of the many. I love your local bookstore, The King’s English. There’s a robust community here, one that motivates me to get my butt in the chair. The fact that the nearest Target is 30 minutes away probably helps when it comes to distractions.
(BTW, Utah, if you felt inclined to add a Target in Park City, I promise I will discipline myself. Please?)
My wonderful, supportive, and loyal Vegas friends check in periodically, asking if change is hard. And I keep having to tell them that although there are things about Vegas I miss, I’m just no longer a Vegas girl. I don’t know if I ever really was. I’ve moved 9 times in the last 15 years. NINE TIMES (Ferris Bueller peeps, you get that?) I’m up for the adventure, for rebuilding and recasting. Maybe at some point I’ll stop taking detours to show my kids the glories of your nature, but I hope not.
For now, you’ve opened your green arms to us, shown us a simpler and fulfilling life. I hope you’ll stay kind this winter, when that snow thing happens. Maybe… make it not happen? Like, ever? Is that possible?
Either way, I still heart you. Thank you for the community and calm. I’l make sure to recycle and not litter. Also, I buy local. You probably care about that.
Here I am with my statuesque friend Cynthia Jaynes-Omololu and our slightly shorter literary agent, Sarah Davies (pay no attention to the sequins. It’s a long story). I met Cynthia through a SCBWI critique group almost 10 years ago, and I’ve done book events or conferences with her in five different cities, most recently Orlando.
The night before we took this photo, we stayed up until 3 am talking about our lives, our kids, our careers. I remember we talked about first kisses, back when I thought I would never have another one of those again (score!) I got scared just hearing the synopsis of her upcoming book, THE THIRD TWIN, which has the promise to be a huge breakout novel. It was fun to look back at ourselves as hopeful newbies and imagine where we would be in another year or even five. We planned. Writers like to do that planning thing. But Plans and Life don’t always agree with each other. In July, 5 months after this picture was taken, Cynthia was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. She’s been battling that stupid illness with humor and badassery ever since. Sorry I swore. It’s cancer. I’m sure you understand.
I want you to read Cynthia’s book. I want you to read it because Cynthia’s voice gripped me 10 years ago in my dank, little apartment in PA and has not let me go since then. I haven’t read this book yet, but when I do I know I will read it in a day, because that’s what I’ve done with all of her other books. Even the still yet unpublished ones she sent me for critique. She understands pace and suspense better than any other author I’ve met or read.
I also want you to BUY her book. This book. All of her books. Because the reality is authors do most of their PR alone. That’s a full time job. Writing is a full time job. Being a mother to her two awesome sons and wife to her supportive husband? Yep, full time.
Add cancer to the mix and it is a lot. Too much.
So other writers are stepping in to help. Spread the word, preorder the book, come to her launch party, whatever you can do. Pitching in is kind of like making a casserole, but better, as anyone who has sampled my casseroles can attest. Creating a book is always cause to celebrate, so don your sequins and let’s blow the roof off this thing.