The CWS Blog

Fundraising Safari: From New Bremen with Love

Kenya: Women building a sand dam
Women carry stones to build a sand dam in Kibauni, Kenya. CWS and its partners are helping drought-stricken communities build sand dams, which hold water in the sandy beds of seasonal streams. Photo: ACT/CWS

CWS field staffers get to work in a variety of settings.  We work in big cities and small towns, urban areas and rural areas.  No matter the setting, the people we meet care about the world outside of their communities.

New Bremen, OH is home to 2,970 people according to the 2011 U.S. Census.  Known as a historic location for the locks built for the Erie and Miami Canals and the Bicycle Museum of America, New Bremen is a close-knit community with a global vision.

At the forefront of that vision is St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

A little over a year ago some members of St. Paul’s UCC watched a video called “Women and Water in Kenya” about the CWS sand dam project that has changed the lives of thousands of women and girls in rural Kenya.  Like many others, they were moved by the video and decided to make it their goal to help CWS build more sand dams. The small church set out to see how many sand dams they could help build.

To date they have raised $31,275 which at $6,250 each will build 5 sand dams!  On top of all of that the church organizes the local CROP Hunger Walk in which St Paul’s Walkers raise about $2,000 each year to fund the many other CWS projects around the world

St. Paul’s UCC in New Bremen, Ohio, is a great example of a small church that does big things.  As a CWS staffer it is an amazing feeling to drive into a community of less than 3,000 people, with its small streets and corner stores, and to know that from the hard work and loving hearts of its residents has come the support that will help thousands of complete strangers who live on the other side of the globe.

That is what our work is all about.  We get to connect people from big cities and small towns here in the U.S. to complete strangers, people who they will probably never meet in places they will probably never visit.  We get to watch small churches do huge things. We get to see how lives are changed by the generosity of others.

Nick Kiger, Ohio Associate Regional Director/CWS

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