April 14, 2008
In 325 African communities, 325 wells have been built, providing each community clean water for a life time. Oklahoma Baptist University's Blitz Week committee wants to build four more.
Blitz Week, a week of events and competitions dedicated to raising as much money as possible for an organization of choice, will be April 19-26 in Shawnee.
This year, the Blitz Week committee chose to support Blood:Water Mission, an organization working to provide clean water and clean blood in African communities.
"We saw an opportunity to make a difference in a community other than Shawnee," said Kristi Zevenbergen, a senior from Arvada, Colo. "Blitz Week has always focused on the local needs, but we felt drawn to address a global need this year."
Throughout Blitz Week, the committee hopes to raise $12,000, enough money to build four wells in four different African communities. Each well is designed to provide clean water for a lifetime.
"Our goal is more than Blitz Week has ever raised before, but knowing that we have the opportunity to influence four different communities give us the motivation to reach it," said Zevenbergen, who is co-chair of the event.
Beginning with the Blitz Week Classic, a golf tournament at the Shawnee Country Club, an array of events offer OBU students and Shawnee residents ways to support Blood:Water Mission. Activities include an OBU faculty-versus-varsity basketball game, an art auction, Recreation and Wellness Center events, a fine arts concert and a youth night with rapper CedEnough.
"We are really excited to see how the OBU community and the Shawnee community can come together and work towards a common cause," said Zevenbergen.
Blood:Water Mission was founded by Christian musical group Jars of Clay. After visiting Africa and seeing the amount of suffering the communities were enduring, the group had a vision of providing clean water and clean blood for the African people.
Through Blood:Water Mission, Jars of Clay and other participating groups and organizations help provide medication to fight HIV/AIDS, education about unclean blood, and new wells in communities with dirty or limited water. According to the organization, with one dollar, Blood:Water Mission can provide clean water for one person for a year, creating a plausible way to make a lasting difference in Africa.