Church raises money for ‘living water’

Published 10:22 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Suffolk Presbyterian Church continues to raise money for Living Waters for the World to help support communities in Guatemala, and the church will raise additional funds through its semi-annual plant sale.

For the last 12 years, Suffolk Presbyterian has been raising funds for the organization, and Living Waters for the World helps train volunteers to establish and lead teams to implement and operate sustainable water purification systems and health education programs.

“We have done three installations in Guatemala over the last 12 years, and we are planning on our fourth in November,” said team member Skip Irby.

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This new system will be installed in El Tule, Guatemala, and it will be the first reverse osmosis system installed by Living Waters partners in Guatemala.

Mary Ann Saunders of Suffolk Presbyterian Church displays desserts for auction last Sunday at a fundraiser for a Guatemalan mission for clean water. The church also has a plant sale fundraising coming up soon. (Submitted Photo)

Reverse osmosis systems remove dissolved inorganic solids like salt from the water by forcing the water through a semipermeable membrane.

El Tule also conducts nutrition training to villages in the area, and the purified water will be used there as well as sold at an affordable price to residents in nearby villages.

The project, while beneficial, will cost more than the typical filtration system that the Suffolk Presbyterian team has installed in the other three villages. The total budget for the project is $25,000, and the church is incredibly close to this goal with almost $22,000 raised through all of its fundraising.

Not only does installation of these systems provide clean water to the cities and villages surrounding, but it also helps these communities becoming self-sustaining in just three years.

“They will produce and sell water at a reduced rate, which makes it more accessible to people with limited income. At the end of three years, with the income and the training provided, these communities are no longer dependent on us coming back every year,” Irby said.

Since the church has continued to work in the eastern part of Guatemala, the team has been able to go back to communities it has previously served to see how they are doing.

The church held a barbecue and dessert auction Sunday and raised nearly $3,600 for the effort.

To continue its fundraising efforts, the team will have a plant sale at the church. Those that want to purchase pansies and mums will have to put in an order by Oct. 1 to ensure they can have their choice.

“We have a variety of colors, and the church has been doing this in the spring and the fall for a number of years to help supplement the funds for the water project,” Irby said.

The group from Suffolk Presbyterian will travel to Guatemala in November to start the installation of the water system.

For flower orders, contact Jack Stoughton at 651-0284.