GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - The Christian humanitarian organization World Vision is always looking for ways to tackle poverty and injustice, locally and around the world. This weekend, you can also help do a world of good by putting on your walking or running shoes.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, Reward Sabanda said he witnessed the impact World Vision had on his country. Now he’s part of that impact helping to fight poverty.
“You might just see mercy from Ghana, age 11. These are just maybe stats to some people. But to me, this is family. These are people that I know. These are people that didn’t have hope and as much as I didn’t have hope when I was over there,” Sabanda said.
He works at the World Vision warehouse in Grand Prairie where many things are being done in North Texas.
“A lot of work, the things that we used to do that, is housed in this giant warehouse right here,” Sabanda said.
The organization has several local partners including churches and community organizations that can come shop for household items to distribute to those in need.
There’s also a teacher resource center offering supplies to Title 1 schools.
And, World Vision responds to natural disasters. Just two weeks ago, it provided relief to Alto in East Texas, which was hit by deadly tornadoes.
When it comes to disaster relief, World Vision is prepared ahead of time. The organization makes sure to have 2,000 buckets full of essential items ready to go.
Volunteers help make the disaster response kits which are taken to affected areas.
“They have meals. They have food. They have hygiene supplies. They have a way to clean up and begin a new life. So because of our generous donors, they get to start out fresh,” Sabanda said.
On a global scale, World Vision is trying to combat the water crisis. Nearly 850 million people still don’t have access to clean water.
In many countries, a jerrycan is used for water collection.
“When it’s full of water, it’s about 40 pounds. Can you imagine that? I don’t even bench 40 pounds but women and children around the world have to carry 40 pounds and travel about 6 kilometers. That’s about 3.7 miles to get access to water that sometimes makes them sick,” Sabanda said.
It’s why donations are used to build water wells and water pumps in improved countries. It’s something World Vision said changes lives.
“When you look at people like Mercy, look into their eyes and know that I’m giving dignity and hope and restoring the god image in people. And that’s what it’s about. It's beyond just water,” Sabanda said.
World Vision is asking people across the world to take part in the Global 6K for Water events. North Texas will have 16 different public walks and runs Saturday, including one at Mike Lewis Park in Grand Prairie.
Anyone is invited to participate. The registration fees help provide clean water to those without.
Last year, the event helped an estimated 63,000 people.