It all began with our global ambassador, Tyson Mayr. While traveling through Uganda with RainCatcher in December 2013, Tyson began a personal fundraising campaign and set out to do 10,000 push ups in 10 days. The children in Uganda were happy to support his efforts by performing push ups alongside Tyson, and as an added challenge, by climbing onto his back. Tyson’s “show of strength” paid off! The campaign raised over $5,000 for clean water and planted seeds of inspiration.
While Tyson was in Uganda, Jamie Franzen followed his journey on Facebook during her holiday break from Gannett Peak Elementary School in Lander, Wyoming. As a 3rd grade teacher, she recognized that the children in Uganda were not all that different from her students, except they had a major obstacle to attending school – lack of clean water.
After returning to school in January, Jamie brought Push Ups for Uganda to her class. On a set day they would all join together to do as many push ups as they could in one minute. The class made a video to spread the word and started raising money. Their enthusiasm spread and soon the whole school decided to join the campaign! Gannett Peak Elementary raised over $1,000, and more importantly, showed the students that they can have an impact in the world.
Connor Higginbotham is a 9 year old student from Gannett Peak Elementary and has become a passionate ambassador for RainCatcher. During a Skype call with school children in Uganda, he learned that before their school got a rainwater harvesting tank from RainCatcher they used to walk two hours each day to collect dirty water and miss class. Connor is supporting the Push Ups for Uganda campaign this year by selling his artwork, bracelets and raffle tickets. When asked about why this issue matters to him, Connor shared, “Every day someone takes water for granted and I think everybody should have access to clean safe water.”
Connor’s mother, Danielle Higginbotham, is grateful for the experiences her son is having by helping others. After Connor received a thank you call and $150 donation from the RainCatcher staff and board, he was overwhelmed by the support. “Connor came home that night and shared about the call and donation he received. He told us his heart was so full he did not know if he could eat dinner,” says Danielle.
Danielle and her husband also expressed their gratitude to RainCatcher, “Sometimes living in a small town makes you think the things you do are small in size, too. So for Connor to see and hear from people so far away, and to know that the things that he does are bigger and can reach across the world is incredible. So my undying gratitude for the impact you have made on my son.”
Yes, push ups can indeed change the world!
About: Push Ups for Uganda is a nationwide campaign that helps provide clean water to schools in Uganda. All schools, after school programs and clubs are welcome to join the campaign! Push Ups for Uganda runs from March 1 to April 22, 2015. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit www.raincatcher.org