Steve Spear, 49, former pastor and running ambassador for Team World Vision began on April 8, 2013 to run a marathon a day for the next five months, running across the country from California to New York to raise $1.5 million to provide clean water for a Kenyan village of 30,000 people.
Spear’s Running for Water initiative was inspired by a meeting with a seven-year-old girl. Steve says, “Her name is Winnie, and she lives in western Kenya with her parents and three siblings. Winnie is the face of one billion people who have no access to clean, safe water. Like millions of other girls, Winnie walks alongside her mother, for six to ten miles every day, to collect contaminated water in old fuel containers, which weigh up to fifty pounds! Every day, six thousand children die from diarrhea diseases linked to unsafe water…”
Steve was so moved by the plight of Winnie and others like her that he decided to partner with Team World Vision, which equips individuals with the training and fundraising resources they need to utilize participation in major athletic events as a means of spreading awareness and raising money for clean water projects in Africa. Since its inception in 2005, Team World Vision has trained thousands of runners, cyclists, and triathletes and raised over five million dollars for clean water. One of those runners was Steve Spear.
When asked why he would undertake such a Herculean endeavor, Steve replies, “I did not choose this particular vision-it chose me! The number-one preventable cause of death on the planet is the lack of clean water. Yes, it’s preventable! If in some small way I can effect change, I want to do my part. I use ninety-five gallons of clean, safe water every day to shower, brush my teeth, wash the dishes, and flush the toilet. This is, by far, the largest inequity in our world. My prayer is that Running for Water will benefit Winnie and thirty thousand others like her, by bringing them clean, safe water-and the hope for a better life.”
A CROSS-COUNTRY ADVENTURE
* Spear will run 3,200 miles, averaging a marathon a day for 5 months
* He will consume 6,100 calories a day.
* He will go through 10 pairs of running shoes
THE REASON: CLEAN WATER FOR AFRICA
* 900 million people lack access to safe water
* 6,000 children die each day from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water and basic sanitation facilities
* 443 million school days per year are lost to water-related illness
* The difference: hope for 30,000 people
Visit Team World Vision for more information.