Teenager Raises Funds for Clean Water
Delaney Hill dedicates her birthday to raise funds for clean water
Three years ago, on her 11th birthday, Delaney Hill asked for an unusual gift. While many kids eagerly wait for their birthdays and all the gifts they hope to receive, Hill asked instead that donations be made to provide clean, safe drinking water to poor people around the world who cannot afford it. Her request was inspired by the effort of Rachel Beckwith of Bellevue, Wash.
Beckwith died July 23, 2011, at age nine, from injuries she suffered in a car accident. At the time, she had raised $220 of the $300 she had hoped to donate to the cause of clean water. The news of her death and her campaign immediately went viral, culminating in donations exceeding $1.2 million.
Hill was so touched by Beckwith’s story that she decided to do the same thing for her own upcoming birthday. Once again, when the news began to spread about another girl with a mission for clean water, friends, family and schoolmates got involved. Between birthday donations and contributions from schoolmates, Hill raised $2,500 for her cause during a short campaign in August 2011. In conjunction with Wishing Well International Foundation (WWIF) and Safe Water Ghana, those funds were used to impact the lives of nearly 1,000 people in Bagliga, Ghana.
Waterborne diseases have devastating consequences in the developing world, even though the prevention of such diseases is neither complicated nor expensive. As young people like Hill have learned, the lack of clean water can be overcome by simple solutions.
To continue honoring the memory of Beckwith, Hill is once again dedicating her Aug. 25 birthday to raise funds for clean water. “I was inspired once again when the dean of students pulled me out of my class to have me speak with the younger kids,” Hill said. “As I go from middle school to high school, it makes me feel good that I can share the mission with the younger kids at St. Paul, so that maybe one of them will keep the work going here.”
“I am inspired by Delaney’s passionate pursuit to overcome the lack of clean water in the developing world. She is a bright young lady with a bright future, and the impact created by her and the students at St. Paul Lutheran School will be felt for years to come,” said Guillermo Guzman, WWIF founder. “As a result of her efforts in 2011, WWIF has since committed to continue the work with Safe Water Ghana to improve the lives of thousands more by the end of 2014."