The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

May 2, 2013

Walk for Water, Walk for Change

The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — Twenty Dollars Can Change a Life. That’s the campaign slogan that helped a group of National Honor Society (NHS) students at Shikellamy High School find their focus for this year’s service project. The enthusiasm for the project began with senior Abbey Ruths. “An 18th birthday is traditionally a huge deal, but as my 18th birthday approached,” said Ruths, “I found myself not having any idea what to ask for. I was inspired by Katie Sasala, a wonderful student teacher, to pledge my birthday to Charity: water. So when NHS needed a good fundraiser idea, I knew exactly what we could do.”

Charity: water is a non-profit organization, which, according to its website, is “bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.” What makes the organization even more appealing is that 100 percent of all public donations directly fund water projects. The rest of the NHS members got on board and kicked off their own money-raising campaign with a Walk for Water at the Shikellamy High School stadium on April 21.

The campaign slogan focused NHS members on how easily a small effort on our part can make a difference in the lives of others. The students set a goal of $5,000: the amount of money necessary to build a well (and name it). Members of the National Junior Honor Society from Shikellamy Middle School, plus friends and family members joined the high school students as they walked or ran around the track to raise money for Charity: water. Approximately 70 people attended the event, which included a bake sale, grilled hotdogs, music, relay races, and a competitive one mile race with Hoss’s gift cards, donated by Hoss’s Steak and Sea House, serving as prizes. Donations from Mertz’s Meats, Tulpehocken Spring Water, and Brewer’s Outlet also helped to create an event with no overhead, allowing 100 percent of the monetary donations to go directly to Charity: water.

The event wasn’t just for fun and fundraising. The event was also intended to help to educate participants about the reality of the world outside of the Central Susquehanna Valley. Students participating in the event were challenged to carry a five gallon bucket of water as they walked around the track.

The event brought in cash and pledges totaling approximately $2,300, but the campaign has not ended. NHS members are collecting donations through May 8. In addition, the students have set up a website so that their campaign can continue through July 15. Anyone can visit the Charity: water website and donate directly to Shikellamy High School’s NHS campaign at