BRYAN, TEXAS — Making a difference for families in need of accessible water, that's what members of the Bryan community are doing.
Folks who call the Brazos Valley home were invited to join Bryan High School students, as they walked for water, raising awareness for water scarcity, at Merrill Green Stadium, Saturday morning.
The 'Walk for Water' event shares how walking a mile, carrying water, showcases the journey millions of people around the world have to make.
"We try and get people to become educated about water scarcity and a little insight on how people are living with it and we raise money to build a water cistern," Alena Vitha, Bryan High School Senior and Student organizer said.
Vitha says, a water cistern is a 12-foot cement structure that provides clean accessible water for those who need it. Walking a mile and holding a jug helps raise awareness of the larger problem other countries face.
"They have to deal with water scarcity and the infrastructure doesn't allow them to have the resources that we do, so close to us. Their water might be going a mile... 5 miles by foot and even then it's not even clean," Vitha added.
Organizers say 100 percent of the proceeds will go to help build water cisterns in Guatemala as part of St. Thomas Aquinas' Annual Medical Mission trip.
"Nothing goes to us or the event, so it's free for us to put this on, so everything we are raising is going directly towards building that cistern," Vitha added.
A local event with hopes of making a global impact, Lis Soto, a passionate volunteer says this work, is life-saving.
"There are a lot of people around the world that we don't hear about or think about that live in the woods and remote areas and that have no access to electricity, clean water, any clean sanitation and this kind of awareness event helps us Americans who are so comfortable consider that not everybody has these privileges and blessings and we can do more to help them," Soto said.
Soto says every dollar that is donated for the cisterns makes a huge difference in the communities that receive them and says over the last 4 years, 11 water cisterns have been built in Guatemala.
"My heart is bursting, my joy is overflowing from seeing people come out and support this kind of outreach to our more needy countries around us. I love it. I am very grateful," Soto said. "This is a very concrete way to make sure that every dollar you spend will make a big difference somewhere for sure."
Soto says she hopes awareness and empathy are some of the things participants will take away from the 'Walk for Water' event and she also hopes the event will prompt people to act and to make a difference for others.