Plainfield South raises money to protect water in African village

Plainfield South High School students were asked to only drink water for two weeks and donate the money they would have spent on coffee or other drinks to The Water Project. The nonprofit helps protect and educate others about the water crisis in sub-Saharan countries.

A group of Plainfield South High School students raised $5,535 for something they might never see in a country they may never visit.

PSHS seniors Alex Mayer, Unzila Manzoor, Citlalli Ruiz, Daniel Muncaster, Shannon Solomon, Olivia McGrath, Sarah Mullan, Alex Hurtado and Andres Ruiz hosted the “Water Challenge” last fall.

The goal was to raise money to protect water supplies in Africa where people walk miles every day to get fresh water.

The students recently learned that their donation went to build a well and to protect the spring that feeds the well for about 500 people in Simboyi, Kenya.

Organizers asked participants to drink only water for two weeks and donate the money they would have spent on soda or coffee to The Water Project. The Water Project is a nonprofit dedicated to providing and protecting clean water to sub-Saharan countries in Africa.

Mayer organized the core group of students last summer to begin planning for the fundraiser. He grouped the students into teams and gave each a specific focus such as marketing or soliciting for donations.

“There was no shortage of effort from those involved,” said Daniel Muncaster.

Many of the student organizers were pleasantly surprised with the support from not only PSHS but also the community.

Organizer Citlalli Ruiz said she was surprised by the school community’s excitement to donate and learn about how scarce clean was is in Africa.

PSHS Principal Bob Yanello is proud of the students for taking on a fundraiser of such magnitude.

“I was not at all surprised by the success of these students, they are great kids, I was only surprised of the huge undertaking and commitment they had put forward,”

Yanello said. “They exceeded all expectations, I imagine even their own.”

The project gave Shannon Solomon a great sense of fulfillment.

“There was a great sense of accomplishment when we learned the well had been built,” she said. “I’m a 17-year-old girl from Illinois who helped get this done.”

Visit to see photos and learn more about the PSHS funded well project.


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