Harrison Reagan displays a handmade Ugandan saber, his prize from the Ugandan Water Project.org for his top fundraising efforts
By Sandy Rigas
There’s a school in Uganda, actually two schools, that will be blessed with the gift of life: the gift of water, thanks to the hard work and generosity of Immaculate Conception School, and some members of the Wellsville community. Clean, potable water from a well which will be built at the school, for use by both the school and the community. Water that is accessible at the touch of a spigot, which does not need to be collected after walking for perhaps miles to reach it. Water that is accessible without having to dig and scoop into mud to reach it.
The local children there will all be able to attend school, as no girl, or boy, will be deprived of an education because they are needed to collect and carry their family’s daily supply of water. These children, and adults, too, will also be healthier, as the water they drink will no longer be a source of disease and even death.
After a month-long project which included cross-curriculum study of water poverty, along with enthusiastic fundraising outside of school hours, Immaculate Conception School was able to meet its goal of raising $3,600 to finance a rainwater collection and filtration system. In fact, the $6,707 raised is almost double the $3,600 goal!
Immaculate Conception School’s gift will be almost enough to finance a well for a second school, too. “The Ugandan Water Project will add other donations to the amount ICS raised and another school can be blessed by their generosity and hard work,” said Shaye Reagan, parent of two ICS students, co-president of the ICS Home & School Association, and the coordinator of this project, as liaison between the school and the Ugandan Water Project.
Reagan, who accompanied the ICS students who visited local businesses to explain the project and to ask for donations toward ICS’ was “humbled and touched at the enthusiasm of the students and the generosity of our community, both local businesses and individuals.”
The top fundraiser was 5th grader Harrison Reagan, who raised $1,265. Second grader Cadence Reagan raised $405, and 6th grader Wes Urbano raised $361.
Robert Orton, a 6th grader, remarked, “This was not about the prizes. It was about helping children who don’t have water in their homes like we do. And helping girls, especially, to be able to go to school and for everyone to have a better life.
Immaculate Conception School students, along with ICS principal Caitilin Dewey (back row, first on the left) and several members of the faculty & staff, wearing their “Give Water, Give Life” t-shirts from the Ugandan Water Project.org. The t-shirts are complementary for raising or donating a gift of $100 or more. The assembled group represents $2,100 or more in donations toward the $3,600 goal.