Helping Others Any Way You Can

By Thad Plumley

An event where restaurants provide you samples of food and drink is not where you expect to impact those not fortunate enough to have access to water.

But that is exactly what I recently did.

I walked around the grounds of the historic home hosting the event in Granville, Ohio, eating way too many desserts and not enough salad samples. I stopped at a table with information about the works of the rotary the event was raising funds for when I saw a surprise.

The list featured all of the good works you would expect from a local civic group—scholarships for local high school students, aid to nearby food pantries, and blood donation drives hosted throughout the year—but there was also one I didn’t expect.

The brochure mentioned that rotary was involved in international work, including the recent drilling of 18 water wells in Haiti.

A jolt of energy went through me when I read that—and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t sugar overload. I was thrilled to know in a small way I was supporting a group that not only saw the importance of not just helping those nearest to it, but also one prioritizing safe water.

I was excited the rest of the evening. In fact, knowing the group valued water relief probably led to a bit too aggressive bidding on my part during the silent auction. Yes, my wife and I are now proud owners of a lovely glass vase.

I plan to find out more about the water projects in Haiti. I also plan to attend the event again next year so I can continue to support the group whose feelings on the access to potable water are the same as mine.

I feel strongly about helping those without safe drinking water. Fortunately there are countless groups doing wonderful work to bring water to communities and villages around the world. The National Ground Water Association’s website at provides information and links to several such groups.

When you have time, I urge you to browse the list and read about some of the amazing work people are doing. I guarantee the stories will make your day.

There are more neat stories on NGWA’s website in the area discussing the National Ground Water Research and Educational Foundation. The Foundation’s Developing Nations Fund has granted money to groups working around the world for several years.

A year ago, among the five grants it awarded was one that aided a village of 3200 people in Malawi where the nearest water well was more than three miles away. Other projects supported last year will impact people in Myanmar, Zimbabwe, and Guatemala.

All of the groups and grants do wonderful work. If you are able to support one financially—or better yet with your water well expertise—you will be doing a great service.

I know next year I’ll be helping the group near me once again, one brownie and glass vase at a time.


Thad PlumleyThad Plumley is the editor of WWJ and director of information products at the National Ground Water Association. He can be reached at and on Twitter @WaterWellJournl.