We hear about poverty almost every day here at Abilene Christian University. We hear how children die and how we can and should help them. We hear about it so much, that we become immune to what we are told. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s just that it no longer affects us. The organizations that come to speak are often daunting. They require a lot of time, money and commitment. None of which a struggling college student has. However, there are some things that have horrible effects that we can easily help change.
Diarrhea kills over a million people each year. Rehydrate.org says that 80 percent of those deaths occur within the first couple months of a child’s life. Death by diarrhea sounds odd because it’s not something people usually talk about. It shouldn’t be something that kills so many people, but it is. It is caused by unclean water and kills one child every 26 seconds.
Normal people with a healthy immune system recover from diarrhea within hours, but individuals already weakened by malnutrition often die of dehydration. Poverty.com says that the treatment for diarrhea is Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT), a mixture of water, salt and sugar that replenishes the lost fluids in the body. All those items are handled by us every day, and we take them for granted. We waste them. We throw them away or put them in a drawer. We like to use them to enhance taste, but millions need these simple items to stop a tragedy. To save an innocent life. What if it were your brother or sister’s life who was hanging in the balance? Would you do whatever you could to save them?
You don’t have to be able to help everyone to help someone. You don’t have to be able to donate a lot in order to donate a little. Charity Water donates 100 percent of what you give and has no minimum. You can donate $2, $5, or $10 dollars. You have the resources, you have the information, you just have to make the choice.
Four children died from diarrhea while you were reading this, assuming you took at least two minutes. According to Rehydrate.org, while you sat in Chapel today 68 children died from diarrhea. By the end of just one of your classes, 136 children have died. By the end of your week, 23,000 children will have died from diarrhea alone. These aren’t just numbers or statistics, it’s a child’s face. A child that is dying from something as simple as diarrhea. We can’t do everything, but we can do something. What will you do?