• 61°

Friends raise money to help fund clean water ministries

From left to right, Sam Judah McLendon, Winn Lowery and Ann Knox McLendon opened a lemondae and water stand in front of Camellia City Bakery & Deli Thursday to raise money to help provide clean drinking water for those in need around the world. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

From left to right, Sam Judah McLendon, Winn Lowery and Ann Knox McLendon opened a lemondae and water stand in front of Camellia City Bakery & Deli Thursday to raise money to help provide clean drinking water for those in need around the world. (Advocate Staff/Andy Brown)

More than 660 million people in the world live without clean water.

A pair of Fort Dale Academy third graders are working to shrink that number.

Winn Lowery and Sam Judah McLendon, along with help from McLendon’s younger sister, Ann Knox, set up a lemonade and water stand in front of Camellia City Bakery & Deli Thursday to raise money to help provide clean drinking water for those in need around the world.

Both Lowery and McLendon selected organizations that help provide clean water to people in developing countries and have been working for a number of weeks to raise funds to donate. On Thursday the pair teamed up.

“I got the idea from a friend of my mom,” said Lowery. “For her birthday, she asked people to donate money for wells to help give people clean water.”

Lowery shared the idea with McLendon, who was eager to help.

On Father’s Day weekend, McLendon set up a table at Southside Baptist Church and raised more than $1,000, which he’s donating to Samaritan’s Purse.

McLendon said the project is about saving the lives of children just like him across the globe.

“Unclean water kills children,” McLendon said. “We’re trying to raise money to get them clean water.”

The majority of those living without access to clean water live in isolated rural areas and spend hours every day walking to collect water for their family. Not only does walking for water keep kids out of school or take up time that parents could be using to earn money, but the water often carries diseases that can make everyone sick. Access to clean water means education, income and health — especially for women and kids.

On Thursday, Lowery and McLendon raised $335 in less than two hours.

Those funds will help change the lives of many people.

According to Samaritan’s Purse, $20 can provide an entire family with clean water using community filters. The organization can drill or rehabilitate a community well for as little as $40 per family.

McLendon said his goal is to raise $3,000 by Aug. 30.

Lowery has already wrapped up her efforts to raise funds for Charity:Water, which funds water programs in 24 countries around the globe, but plans to lend McLendon a helping hand until he completes his project.

Lowery raised $540.

Those wishing to help can donate online at www.classy.org/SJM8.