How Rita Marley inspired one man to run for clean water.

Dvega1Do you know where your water comes from? If you live in New York City, chances are it comes from a network of 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Or better yet, with a label like Poland Spring, Smart Water or Fiji. We’re spoiled. We don’t think twice about the water we use to brush our teeth or to take a shower everyday. We don’t worry (for the most part) if that water coming out of our faucets is clean, we just know it is.

I knew that having access to clean water wasn’t always the case from some of my previous trips abroad, but until I received an email from David Vega, I didn’t know that 1 in 9, or 800 million people don’t have access to clean drinking water.  That’s why on October 19th, he’s running the Indianapolis marathon for charity: water, a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

medium_4057622302HT: How did you get involved with charity: water?
DV: After I knew I wanted to run a marathon to help a notable cause, it kind of just fell into place. The dots just connected. I was listening to The Great Bob Marley & The Wailers, “Rastaman Vibration” and I had been meaning to add another record to my collection. So as anyone would, I began Googling. As I was scrolling down I came across an article about Bob Marley’s wife, Rita Marley. The headline read “Rita Marley was born in Cuba.”  That intrigued me because I am Cuban-American. So I click on the link, and sure enough Mrs. Rita Marley was born in Santiago, Cuba. I spent the next half hour researching Mrs. Marley and then something popped up on my screen, “The Marley family donates 100,000 to charity: water.” So, I continued on and watched a video of Mrs. Marley and her son Rohan, talking with the CEO/Founder of charity:water, Scott Harrison, discussing the water crisis. I knew then I had to help somehow.

HT: Why water? Why is this your cause?
DV: Water is extremely essential for human life, to be even more specific, CLEAN water is essential for human life. With my research I learned that 80% of diseases in today’s world are waterborne. 80%!! One can then conclude that these same diseases may be preventable with just clean, safe drinking water. It’s just that simple. When I found out that there are thousands of men, women and children – plus future generations that will die from lack of clean water, it bothered me down to my core. If something as simple as water can make a difference, especially in developing nations, then I’m all for it.  Water changes life. A majority of us can’t even comprehend what that means, or better yet are simply just unaware. Not only does safe clean water prevent diseases and improve health, it also improves upon sanitation, hygiene, and economic development.  Every single one of us benefits from safe clean water on a daily basis.


HT: How can we help charity:water?
DV: There are numerous ways we can help charity:water. The first thing I tell those that want to help, is educate yourself on the subject. Learn about our water crisis. A great place to start is their website, which truly does an amazing job of explaining the intricacies of today’s water crisis. It even gives you options on how you or a group can help. For example, if you don’t like to run, you can sponsor a hand-dug well, a drilled well, or even a school project. It’s not just about donating, it’s about getting involved at any capacity you deem fit. Not everyone can afford to be a sponsor, and that’s ok, you can do just as much by starting your own campaign. I decided I would run a marathon for this cause. For me, it would not only show my dedication, but prove to those around me that I was serious about what I believed in.  There is a place for everyone that is willing and able, to do their part. I am so grateful for this opportunity.

To donate to David who is running the Indianapolis marathon for charity:water visit:

Please think about donating even $1. Charity:water uses 100% of your donations to fund their water projects, and proves where your money goes with photos and GPS coordinates.


Photo credits:
David Vega
Young girl with water: Gary Edenfield via photopin cc
Children with water: Gary Edenfield via photopin cc

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