Iowans Turn Wine Into Water

[by Cathy Lafrenz]

Last week, the World Food Prize was awarded in Des Moines to Gabisa Ejeta for his development of a drought-resistant variety of sorghum. Sorghum is a major food source in the Sudan and drought conditions have left millions of people starving for decades.

We have all heard stories about starving people throughout the world. How many times have our mothers told us about the starving children in China? But we think ….. “What can I do? Send this cold slice of pizza?”

After all, we are not Bill Gates.

A major draw-back to agricultural success in Africa is the lack of a water delivery system. Wells. Ya can’t grow much when you are carrying water in jugs on your shoulders for several miles.

In 2005, we had a drought in eastern Iowa. I could show you pictures of very crunchy brown grass – in June. My irrigation system is based on the collection of rainwater. I can store 3200 gallons of water. But if it doesn’t rain – I have no water stored.

Our old well couldn’t handle the water needs of my gardens. So every day, for 10 weeks, Honey hauled 200 gallons of water a day from town. And the next day, I would haul out 300 feet of hose and water another section of the cutting gardens. All the time …. I was hoping we could get the new well installed ASAP!!!

We had the means to drill a new well. And we did. Cuz I wasn’t ever going to go thru that again!!!

But in Africa, 4500 mothers a day bury their children because they don’t have clean fresh water. 4500! They have no wells.

A small group of amazing women in eastern Iowa have found that fact to be UNACCEPTABLE!
They formed Water 4 Christmas and in a very short time, they have raised $100,000 for Charity Water

Charity Water administers the construction of the wells. Scott Harrison (president and founder) has also found these women amazing! Harrison is coming to Iowa to inspire them and us to do more. And one of these incredibly generous and giving women is my friend Leslie. Leslie has organized a fund-raising event that needs your help.

So what can you do?? You can join me and drink wine. I know!! One of my favorite things to do!! How hard can that be???

Wine to Water Event

Saturday, November 21st, 7–10 p.m.
3rd floor, Redstone Bldg., Davenport
Wine Tasting :: Dessert :: Live Music by Lojo Russo :: Andrew Landers Project
8 p.m. presentation by Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water
$20 donation to charity: water at the door.


This will be a fun and inspiring evening. Wine — Music — Yummy homemade desserts. Yea … we are talkin’ chocolate!!! How do I know?? I will be spending my Friday, helping create mouth-watering desserts for the event. Want to join me in a baking frenzy?? We could use your help… drop me an email and I will get it to Leslie and we will have you join in the fun!

Now back to the serious business ……. water is agriculture and agriculture is food. Twenty dollars can get water to an individual for 20 years!!! We can save thousands of people with very small donations. Let’s give the world the means to farm. Then, they can feed themselves and their communities.

I’m not Bill Gates. But I can make a difference. And so can you. Join Leslie and her friends and drink a glass of wine. You can turn it into water.

Cathy Lafrenz serves on the board of the Quad-Cities chapter of Buy Fresh-Buy LocalShe raises hens for egg production and is Animal Welfare ApprovedIn her spare time she advocates for health care reform, spins yarn, and knits every pair of socks she wears.  Check out her blog, Miss Effie’s Diary

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