Without a thought you turn on the tap and water flows out clean and clear. You flush your toilet with it, take a shower with it, make your breakfast with it… and that’s just in the first hour of your day.
Now imagine that you live in a developing country.  There is no tap water for bathing and eating; no flushing toilets.  Your morning ritual is walking miles to the nearest stream to collect jugs of brown water teaming with bacteria.  What should sustain your life is now likely to end it.
Rotary International is on a course to arrest this killer of more than 3.4 million people each year, almost half of them children, by initiating safe water, sanitation and hygiene practices around the globe.  It is one of six causes targeted by Rotary as vital to the future of our world, along with promoting peace, fighting disease, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.
Following the lead of Rotary International, the Centerville High School Interact Club, sponsored by the Centerville Rotary Club, launched a “Save Water, Save the World” campaign. Armed with a $1000 start-up grant from Centerville Rotary, the CHS Interact Club created posters, tee shirts and water bottles to raise awareness about our international water crisis and to solicit contributions. Proceeds from the sale of campaign items will be used to fund global water projects and develop additional fundraising initiatives.
“CHS Interact Club advisor, Liz Cameron, and student Calvin Fulton have been instrumental in capturing the imagination and energy of students and directing them toward helping Rotary provide clean water to those in need,” said Kim Senft-Paras, Centerville Rotary’s liaison to the CHS Interact Club.  “The students are differentiating their club from other high school service clubs with their creativity and enthusiasm.”
Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 12 to 18.  It is the fastest-growing program of Rotary service with more than 33,000 clubs and almost 340,000 members in more than 200 countries. Students are engaged to take action on vital issues at home and abroad while developing leadership skills, responsibility, integrity, helpfulness, respect for others, and international understanding and good will.
One initiative supported by Centerville Rotary and the CHS Interact Club is the Guatemala Water Project; Dayton Rotary is the lead in this area for this global Rotary campaign.  Its goals are to assure access to water, assure efficient use of water as a critical resource, improve sanitation to reduce contamination and provide education on sanitation.  Ram Nunna, international service director for Centerville Rotary, participates in planning meetings for the Guatemala effort and was the catalyst behind a grant of $500 from Centerville Rotary for district-wide support of a bore hole water project in Nigeria.
This is a drop in the bucket for an issue of this magnitude.  But drop-by-drop, Rotary and Interact clubs around the world are reducing water-related disease and death through their efforts to support global water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives.   
“We are proud to support one of Rotary International’s areas of focus by contributing financially to projects that provide clean water around the world,” said Judy Budi, president of Centerville Rotary. “And to do it in cooperation with our Interact Club, Dayton Rotary and other clubs in our district, while engaging and mentoring our future leaders in the process, makes it even more rewarding.”
For information on Centerville Rotary Club visit www.centervillerotary.com
Story co-written by Vinella Appalaneni, CHS Interact Club and Cynthi Fraley, Centerville Rotary Club