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Media Contact:
Alex McDowell
417-234-6874 | alex@worldserveintl.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI AREA YOUTH RAISE OVER $5,000 FOR CLEAN WATER
Nearly 1,000 Children Support WorldServe International Charity Effort

SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI – A new ministry program for kids recently launched by the non-profit WorldServe International has received remarkable enthusiasm – and thousands of pennies, nickels, and other coins. A Springfield-based charity, WorldServe worked with ministry leaders at four James River Church campuses, providing curriculum materials, “JerryCan” coin banks, and inspiration to encourage children to collect loose change to provide clean water in Africa. After learning about the water crisis and engaging in inspiring activities about compassion, the church’s elementary school-aged students responded with generosity. In total, the students raised $5,064.94.

WorldServe’s four-week, faith-based curriculum called “JerryCan” focuses on the global clean water crisis and conveys lessons in generosity in a manner children can understand and put into action. Clent Wells, Family Ministries Pastor at James River Church, said, “We didn’t set a goal of how much to raise. Instead, we primarily focused on teaching kids about generosity to make giving a habit. It was the clearest we’ve ever been able to communicate with the kids about generosity because we were able to show them how it could play out in their lives.”

Through engaging curriculum, thought-provoking activities, and a vlog series that follows 12-year-old Cruz—a local youth on his journey to Africa—the kids gained insight into children’s lives growing up in water-challenged communities. “JerryCan gives kids the understanding that the only difference between kids here in Missouri and kids in Africa is the geography of where they were born…our students now see that their world is bigger than before,” said Wells.

The JerryCan program intends to build youth leadership and compassion and raise funds – one penny at a time! – to address the world water crisis. A global health challenge, more than 700 million people worldwide live each day without clean water. Even before COVID-19, approximately 80% of illnesses were linked to poor water and sanitation conditions in developing countries. With the onset of COVID, the need for clean water continues to accelerate.

Women and girls are on the front lines of the water crisis, spending countless hours walking miles to retrieve water for their families, often from unclean sources. Their heavy load is often a jerry can—hence, the name chosen by WorldServe for the program. Children participating receive their own “Jerry Can” bank to take home and fill with loose change. As coins increase each kid’s JerryCan bank weight, the lighter the load becomes for a child in need in Africa.

James River Church students participate in sharing coins and cash for clean water through the JerryCan program.

About WorldServe International: WorldServe International, founded in 1996, is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide clean water, sanitation, education, and economic opportunities to alleviate suffering in Africa. More information available at www.worldserveintl.org

About JerryCan: Created in response to WorldServe International’s mission to address the world water crisis, JerryCan is a fun-filled, easy-to-use kids’ ministry tool nurturing compassion and generosity in youth. Free resources for faith communities wishing to join in the program include four weeks of engaging curriculum, exclusive video content, coin bank supply, parent communication tools, and a personalized media kit. Pastors can go to jerrycankids.com to register and receive their free resources.

Tanzania Water Fund

The Tanzania Water Fund is based in Phoenix Arizona and has been funding wells in Singida, Tanzania for over 15 years.  Ten years ago, TWF and WorldServe forged a partnership for mutual funding of water projects in this region because of the severity of the need for clean water.  Since then, TWF has partnered on over 35 clean water projects and intends to continue partnering with us to accomplish its mission: to solve the water problem in Singida by seeing that a deep well, power source and storage tank is provided to each village in the district. Dean Riesen, Chairman of Tanzania Water Fund, also serves as a board member of WorldServe International.

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