When sisters Katherine and Isabelle Adams, aged only 9 and 11, respectively, heard that every 20 seconds a child dies due to health problems arising from polluted water, they wanted to make a change. The two little girls decided that they want to help.


Their idea was to make origami ornaments, sell them and collect money to drill wells in third-world countries, in desperate need of accessible, clean water. They've become co-presidents of their own non-profit, Paper for Water organization and their goal was to raise $500 to partially fund a well in Ethiopia by distributing hand-crafted origami Christmas ornaments at Starbucks - in exchange for donations.

And guess what? You won't believe what happened next. They received their first donation on November 3rd, 2011 and on the very first night their ornaments were already sold out. By December 31st, 2011 they had raised over $10,000, which was more than enough to fully fund a well in Ethiopia. 520 people now drink clean water because of that. As of March 1st, 2015 these two girls  - with the help of hundreds of volunteers - have raised over $650,000 to fund over 70 wells in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, India, Mexico, Uganda, Peru, and Zimbabwe.

And this is how it goes. As a gesture of appreciation to those who donate, the girls create intricate paper ornaments, which are also available for sale on Paper for Water's website. The girls also fly around the world, meet inspiring people, speak about their project and experience first-hand what kind of impact their project is having on the people whose lives they've saved. 

They came up with various other projects, which also invite people to donate. For example, they established a "Well of the Month Club" with club members paying a monthly fee  or donation of $5.00 (their aim is to attract 1,000 donors); the "Party with a Purpose" project brings various types of parties to your home, like a wine & cheese or a birthday party, which is then used to promote the Paper for Water cause, as well as the World's Thirsty. You can either donate or become a volunteer yourself. Age doesn't matter, you can either be a child of 5 or a grandfather of 85, as long as you want to help.

Their mission is to bring clean water to the 783 million people around the world without access to clean drinking water. For now it seems the girls are following the right path (the path of the giving heart) and you - yes, also you - can become part of this project. Donate or share and promote. Start small to make it big!

Sept. 10, 2015 Living photo: Paper for water

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