Alabamians are saving lives with ‘Workout for Water’ fundraiser
There are certain things that Americans often take for granted: our constitutional freedoms, a warm home, food, and even more essentially: clean water. Around the world, millions of people struggle to get access to this most basic human need. That’s where Neverthirst comes in.
Neverthirst was founded by Mark Whitehead and Iron Tribe Fitness CEO Forrest Walden to help bring clean water to those around the world lacking access by drilling specialized wells. Since 2008, Neverthirst has completed over 5,500 projects, providing over 400,000 people with clean water. During that same time period, the total number of people without access to clean water has dropped from 1.2 billion to 663 million since 2008.
“We felt called to the hard places,” Whitehead told Yellowhammer. “It all started in January of 2008, but we did not even have a focal point for the ministry until traveling to South Sudan later that year. There are less than 50 miles of paved road in the entire country. It’s very remote. Out of curiosity, we stopped in a tiny village called Witto and asked the chief to show us where they got their water from. He took us about a mile off the road and showed us a pool of green, stagnant water. Up until that point, we were really clueless about the water crisis — even though we were four months into being a water ministry. God led us to that village and made his vision crystal clear: You can meet this massive, overwhelming need — 1.2 billion people need clean water — and you can use it as a platform to advance the Gospel around the world.”
Today, Neverthirst is doing work in India, Cambodia, Nepal, South Sudan, Sudan and Chad. The goal for 2016 is to complete over 2,000 projects throughout Africa and Asia that will bring water to over 72,000 people.
But it all wouldn’t be possible without the support of Alabamians back home, and others around the country.
“We have a lot of church partnerships, individual donors, lemonade stands, garage sales, car washes — people can get as creative as they want when raising money for clean water projects,” said Whitehead. “It can be really fun.”
The biggest of these fundraisers is Walden’s personal brainchild: Workout for Water. In 2010, he hosted his first Workout for Water to help bring clean water to Haiti. It was a huge success and has become an annual fundraiser that has grown exponentially every year. Since 2009, the workouts have raised over $2 million, and it has proven critical for the growth and sustainability of Neverthirst.
With money collected from donations, Workout for Water has allowed Neverthirst to complete numerous projects in Africa and Asia, serving thousands of people with clean water.
Iron Tribe franchises from across the country host the event, and the workouts are friendly to people of all fitness levels. In fact, Iron Tribe staff and athletes have traveled with Neverthirst teams several times to help on their mission to serve those in need.
Alabama’s next Workout for Water event will be hosted on May 13, 2017 at Oak Mountain State Park. For more information, participants can visit the fundraisers website linked here.