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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Committee raises money for clean water

Published: February 26, 2010
Section: News

The Student Union Senate Social Justice Committee kicked off a semester-long fundraiser for charity:water Wednesday with coffee, donuts and a 5-gallon jug of water. The jug, representing unfit water drunk by people world-wide, was filled with water collected from Massell Pond by committee members Jackie Saffir ’10 and Ryan Fanning ’11.

The project aims to raise $5,000 to build a well that will provide more than 250 people with clean drinking water in a developing country.

“One in eight people on the planet do not have access to clean, safe drinking water and are forced to trek long distances just to collect dirty water from puddles,” Andrea Ortega ’13, North Quad senator and member of the Social Justice Committee, said. “[They] are forced to trek long distances just to collect dirty water from puddles.” Ortega estimated that the first day of fundraising solicited close to 100 donations for the project.

The committee chose charity: water for its universal appeal as a humanitarian agency. The fundraiser is a semester-long project with clubs on campus fundraising as well.

“Clubs can get creative in the way they raise money,” Ortega said, emphasizing the point that each club can fundraise in its own way. The committee has helped clubs brainstorm ideas, and is willing to act as a resource to anyone interested in donating or fundraising. “Brandeis was founded on principles of social justice and activism, and while many of us intend to change the world later on in life, there’s nothing stopping us from changing the world now,” Ortega said.

“Someday there will be a well somewhere with ‘Brandeis University’ on it,”  Saffir said. One hundred percent of the money raised by Brandeis for charity: water will go to bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Private donors fund the organization’s administrative costs.

The Social Justice Committee includes Ortega, Class of 2010 Senator Saffir, Class of 2012 Senator Brendan Fradkin, Ziv Quad Senator Fanning and non-Senate member Boris Osipov ’13. Other upcoming committee projects include screenings of “Invisible Children,” co-sponsored by Phi Kappa Psi, Mock Trial and BADASS, “The Cove,” an animal rights documentary, and “The Greatest Silence,” a documentary about the rape of women in Congo.