MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Clean water is something we take for granted, but Memphis University School Seniors Christian Kauffman and Cort Gatliff know that in many countries clean water is a luxury.
"We started researching this water crisis that's going on in the world and how one person dies every 15 seconds because they lack access to clean water and that just kinda shook us up because we can just walk into our house and turn on the faucet and we have water. And it just never really hit us that other people don't have that luxury," said Gatliff. Adding, "We've always been passionate for cycling and we want to use our passions to help change the world, so we decided to do this Ride Across America to raise money to build wells in the world."
But when the earthquake hit in Port Au Prince, Gatliff and Kauffman zeroed in on Haiti.
Kauffman admits, "I definitely can't take a drink of water without thinking back to this project. Thinking back to the people who don't have clean water. And even in the best of times in Haiti, the water crisis is a big deal and now it's at epic proportion."
"And the need for water over there became overwhelming and there's thousands of kids lying in hospital beds who are gonna die from water related diseases," add Gatliff.
Working with an organization called "Living Water International," the duo is training for a cross country bike ride they hope will raise enough money to build 500 wells in Haiti, serving about 6000 people per well.
Their goal is $50,000 and they have already raised $20,000.
They hope their efforts will benefit the people of Haiti for years to come.
The teens plan to bike out of Santa Monica, California on March 4th, arriving in Savannah, Georgia April 4th - a total of 2700 miles.
They've been working ahead on their classes at MUS and plan to be in constant communication with their teachers in order to keep up with their course and turn in homework.
They also plan to blog throughout their entire trip. You can learn more about their project or donate by going to www.thewatercycle.org.
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