Home > My Blogs > Shower the People …

Shower the People …

Posted in: Blog by amy on March 24, 2014

Recently, I attended Sunday School with my youngest daughter Danielle. It was a day for parents to spend time with their fourth graders, attend services together and listen to a presentation from the Jewish National Fund. There I sat, holding hands with Danielle, listening to a woman speak passionately about the water problem in Israel. I felt so peaceful and so happy to spend these minutes beside my daughter. At the same time, this experience reminded me that there are so many random opportunities in which we can learn and become aware. After learning more about the water crisis in Israel and in many parts of the world, we came home and instantly enacted changes in our water usage habits.

Then, this morning on the Today Show, there was a woman talking about useful apps and websites. She explained that if we went to a Unicef website and agreed to not use our cellphones for a certain period of time, then we would raise money for people in need to have safe water. For every 10 minutes that we don’t touch our phones, UNICEF sponsors and donors can fund one day of clean water for someone in need. Immediately, I went on my cellphone and typed in:


As directed, I placed my cellphone on a steady surface and watched the minutes go by with anticipation. Statistics, disturbing facts and motivators kept running across my phone’s screen. Information like the startling fact that people have more access to mobile phones than toilets and the alarming reality that 768 million people don’t have access to clean water. There were encouraging messages, as well.  After just three minutes, this popped up: “Keep going! 7 more minutes can raise enough for one day of water for a child in need.”

I sat still, absorbing these facts, promising to make more changes.

“In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year just walking to collect water.”

The facts kept coming. There was no temptation to pick up my phone for anything. After 50 minutes, I was told that I provided enough water for a family of five! I knew that I was not going to touch my phone, except, ironically, for the repairman’s call that he is 15 minutes away from arriving at my house. The reason this is ironic is because I have been complaining about being without a working refrigerator in my kitchen for the last few days. Besides the fact that I had to throw everything away after waking up last Sunday and discovering that my refrigerator was warm, it’s just been a hassle to have to run into the basement to get some milk or yogurt for the kids. That’s right — I still have another fridge in the basement! And, yep, I’m sorry to admit that I  still had been complaining (just a little) about the hassle. The truth is: We get so caught up in our comforts and our fortunate routines. We do take our clean, safe water for granted. And we take so much for granted besides just our water: access to wonderful schools, religious freedoms, electricity, working roofs that keep the rain and snow and cold and beating sun out of our homes.

While I write this, I have a glass of water beside me. My hair is air drying after a warm shower. I have a load of laundry in the machine. And, not once, until I sat down to write this, did I have to think about those water-based luxuries. They are a part of my day. They are a part of my beautiful world. From my perspective, in the confines of my home, the world is beautiful. But, when I open my eyes to the true reality of the world, well, that is a different story.  So many are struggling and suffering and walking dozens of miles simply for clean water. Yet, here I sit, waiting for the repair man to arrive, hoping that it’s soon so my day is not further inconvenienced.

Except, today, I am able to make my awareness mean something. I am able to help people in need have access to safe, clean water. Simply by not using my cell phone, I am making a difference. Of course, there are infinite ways in which we can impact other lives and improve our world. But, we often don’t think about it. We often don’t act. Today is the day to think about change. Today is the day to think about how long the water runs while you shower. Today is the day to put down your phone and provide people in need with safe water. Today is the day to own your power, to believe you can make a difference, to be the change you want to see in the world.

Please, visit: tap.unicefusa.org on your cell phone. Set your phone down on a flat surface, read the messages and please share your experiences with me.  I can’t wait to hear from you as we motivate one another to make a difference and save lives.

To learn more about what you can do to help or to support the Jewish National Fund, visit: www.jnf.org

And, to watch your cellphone-free minutes turn into life-saving ones, please visit: www.tap.unicefusa.org






Share This Page

Leave a Reply


Close [x]

Newsletter Signup

Get my newest blog posts and book news sent to your email by signing up here:

Email Address

Thank you!
(And, for those who like a tidy inbox, no worries: I will only send updates about once a month.)