Interesting title for a post, right? Well, it’s an interesting topic.
What are you drinking right now? Is it perhaps, water? I’m willing to bet that if you are drinking some water, that it’s bottled or it’s water that has been cleaned and purified. What about the water in your bath tub or shower…or even the water that you use to wash your dishes or clean your clothes? That’s probably pretty clean too.
Some people don’t have that luck. And it’s not their fault. Some children are just born into that society where it’s absolutely normal for them to see merky water. I won’t lie, if I see any sort of funny color…even just a TINGE of some sort of abnormality, I will not drink the water and I will call whoever I need to, to get it taken care of. Again, some people don’t have such luck.
Because of this, my friend Michael has chosen to do something greater. And I would like for you to meet him. 🙂 This is the best way I knew I could help him on his journey! Since I am going to have this baby in less than 2 months, I figured that trying to run a 5k every day until he reached $50K isn’t going to happen. Haha. So, this is my contribution. And I hope many of you have stuck around to read the rest of Michael’s story! I did it in question and answer format.
What is Charity:Water?
They are a non-profit organization on a mission to bring clean drinking water to every person on the planet. They’ve funded 13,644 water projects in 22 countries. And yes I took that directly from their website.
Charity-Water does three things that I love. First, they have a 100% model. This means that all of your donations go straight to the field, while private donors fund their operating costs. Second, they have a high value for transparency. They show you exactly where your money goes, to the extent that they actually install GPS units on every water project. Finally, they work locally. They have strong local partnerships in each of the countries they work with, insuring that each water project will be maintained properly.
What made you decide to do this?
I’ve traveled to over 20 countries myself. I have seen the effects of extreme poverty and witnessed first hand all kinds of injustices around the world. Those experiences changed me and left me with an insatiable hunger to see life brought to the nations. I have seen so much, and become passionate about so many different causes, and for a long time I didn’t know how to move forward. There are people who need access to clean water, orphans who need a home and family, women and children who need freedom from the sex trade industry… how do you pick just one? At the same time, there are so many organizations out there who are already doing incredible work towards these causes… that is how I came up with the idea for Bloomworks.
And What is Bloomworks?
Bloomworks is an organization I’m starting. The mission is to empower people to move from apathy to engagement, and provide awareness and resources for organizations that are bringing life to the nations. The goal is to use social media, film, art, and creativity to inspire and challenge people to become part of a bigger story. As I said, I couldn’t pick just one cause, so this is my chance to support all kinds of different causes, one project at a time. The 5K for $50K is my first project.
You’re running 5k a day, what keeps you going?
Thinking about the people, who everyday have to walk three hours to fetch clean drinking water. The least I can do is run thirty minutes. I literally picture myself cheering them on, yelling that help is on the way, telling them to keep going. And when I get tired, I picture them cheering me on, yelling right back, “Keep going!“
Where did the inspiration come from?
The idea for the 5K for $50K came from a conversation at work. I can listen to podcasts at work, and one day stumbled across an interview of Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity-Water. I was so inspired by his story, and by the 100% model. I told my co-worker about it, and suggested we run 5K a day until we raised $5,000 for Charity-Water. Later, I bumped the number up to $50,000 and really got excited.
The inspiration for Bloomworks came after the 5K idea. This kind of work seems to be the intersection of my passions, talents, and desire to change the world. I love working with people, and I love using creativity to spread ideas. It became clear that there was a great opportunity to build something unique, and I am excited to see where this could go.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am 27, from Wisconsin, and most importantly, a newlywed! I love my wife and am absolutely enjoying the adventure that is our first year of marriage. We met in Spain, both of us were attending G42, a six-month leadership academy tucked away on the side of a mountain overlooking the Mediterranean. We had our wedding date set and venue booked by the 28th day of our relationship. 10 months later we were married. New Years was our one-year anniversary of being together.
I love the outdoors, competitive sports, craft beer, and movies. I’ve recorded some spoken word films and recently written a book, which you can find on my website if interested.
Besides the obvious, why are YOU doing this?
Someone has to do something. It might as well be me. Whether I get five, or five thousand people to join me, I will be satisfied. I believe all it really takes to change the world is one committed person. At the same time I know others will join and our influence will only multiply.
Do you have anyone joining you in this?
Yes! Actually a friend of mine from Texas just told me he was going to run 5K a day as well. I’m excited!
Was this planned or spur of the moment?
I am someone who gets lots of vision all the time, and there were plenty of ideas I was toying with leading up to the New Year. A mentor of mine once told me, “When you have too many dreams, just pick one or two to start, and the rest can come later.” This idea was one I was most passionate about. With New Years approaching, it seemed like a great time to start something.
Did you properly train for this or just jump into it? (the running)
Ummm no. No training, haha. In fact, the most I had run leading up to the New Year, was maybe five times in five months. Now I’m running 5K a day. Needless to say, I have been icing my knee all night.
Are you having fun while doing it?
I am having lots of fun! I love listening to music while I run, and I feel like I am changing the world with every step I take. Sometimes I feel pain in my knee with every step I take, but that’s when I just turn the music up.
What are you going to do after you’ve reached your deadline or your goal?
I am going to pick another organization, brainstorm an idea of how to advocate for them, pick a goal amount to raise, and launch it! I have no idea what that will be, but I am excited! That is the beauty of Bloomworks. For now, I am focusing on this campaign. We have a long way to go, and lots of work to be done to hit the goal amount before the deadline.
Michael has a HUGE heart for this and I am incredibly inspired by it! I continue to follow him on instagram and facebook to see how things are going. You definitely can too! Michael’s instagram is www.instagram.com/bloomisboom
Also, I wanted to post this on here…I really liked what he added to his instagram post on Day 12.
“In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking miles to the nearest source, which is unprotected and likely contaminated.
Time spent walking and resulting diseases keep them from school, work and taking care of their families. Along their long walk, they’re subjected to a greater risk of harassment and sexual assault. With safe water nearby, women are free to pursue new opportunities and improve their families’ lives.
I’m doing 5k a day until we raise $50,000 for clean water projects. Over $900 raised so far!! Join the movement!
#bloomworks #5Kfor50K #running #run #instagood”
Please help the cause! It’s a great one with all the right intentions! I will be with you on this one Michael and I will also be joining you on the next project!! 🙂
***All photos were “stolen” from Michael’s Instagram or Facebook pages.
After post update: 23JAN15 Michael has raised $1,125 WHICH MEANS…37 people will get clean water. 🙂