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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 8:45 am | Fair 54º


Montecito Churches to Walk for Water

Saturday's fundraiser will help pay for wells in Ethiopia

Every day, women around the world have to walk for hours to fetch water for drinking, cooking and bathing — water that is often not even clean. About 80 countries face severe water shortages, and every 21 seconds a child dies from a water-related illness.

Santa Barbara area residents will have the opportunity to do something about that at 1 p.m. Saturday, when Montecito’s four churches — All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, El Montecito Presbyterian Church, Montecito Covenant Church and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church (also known as “M4”) — join forces with World Vision to host Walk for Water.

The event is aimed at building deep wells in Ethiopia; each well costs $12,500. Such wells transform communities and save lives. At the same time, participants will seek to increase awareness of the world water shortage and the need for water conservation practices at home.

Walk participants will follow a 2.5-mile loop, which is a typical distance for fetching water. They will stop at Butterfly Beach to fill buckets and briefly experience what it is like to carry a load of water during the last leg of the loop.

The walk will begin and end at All Saints-by-the-Sea, 84 Eucalyptus Lane in Montecito.

To help, simply sign up to walk or make a donation. The suggested donation for walkers is $35 per adult, $10 per child or $70 per family. The first 250 people to sign up will receive a reusable water bottle. All money raised through this event will be matched dollar for dollar by the Hilton Foundation.

Participants are asked to bring their own buckets or other smaller water containers. A prize will be awarded to the best-decorated bucket.

Contact any of the four churches to sign up, or sign up on the day of the event.

— The Rev. Rob Fisher is an associate rector at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

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