$20….And what to do with it?

The $20 bill is still in its envelope. img_7243

It’s been sitting on the kitchen counter awaiting a worthy destination.

A total surprise–and confirmation I was in the right church–the when Rev. Ken Daigle said that they were going to do a different demonstration of how important tithing is. Important to give when it’s not expected.

And so the church gave everyone in the congregation an envelope containing a $20 bill. “And don’t forget the people downstairs helping the children.”

Seems somehow wrong to just put that $20 bill in my wallet. Or get a Peets card, although I do like my Peets. I’m not comfortable giving it to a homeless person or putting it in the Salvation Army bucket.

Thinking about this as I organize my suitcase. I’m heading to New York tomorrow for events with Charity: Water, the organization that took me to Ethiopia.  Twenty dollars isn’t so much, but I want this $20 to have a special purpose, to directly help someone the way those wells helped the people in the villages.


Twenty dollars is about how much it costs Charity: Water to bring clean water to one person in the third world. (The precise number varies, depending on location and type of well.) So I’ll pass along the $20 bill to them this weekend.

Maybe it will help the woman I saw in Tigray. Her village will be be getting a well soon. Meantime, she walks 45 minutes to a gnarly riverbed. There is nasty yellow stuff growing in the shallow water. There’s donkey poop all over the ground. Some people have donkeys to carry their jerry cans, but not these women. One of them does though have a large goiter, an eight inch swelling on the neck from a lack of iodine in the diet.

The woman and her friends squat down and dig a hole in the sand and then wait for the hole to fill with water.

She uses a small green cup to fill her jerry can, doing her best to keep the sand out of the big jug.

Of course she can’t avoid the parasites and bacteria that are in the filthy water.

And then she secures the 40 pound jerry can to her back with her scarf and walks the 45 minutes back to her village.

A worthy home for my twenty dollars.

Except of course, it really it’s mine. I’m just the vehicle for its use.




About Karen Ray

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1 Response to $20….And what to do with it?

  1. Pingback: Nary a drop to drink | Bikini Wax Chronicles

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