BC charity: water Returns to In-Person Events Following its Most Successful Year

After breaking its own record by raising more than $20,000 during the last academic year, BC charity: water is ready to get back in action, according to Co-President Keelin Rogers. 

“We’re really excited to get back on campus with a lot of energy,” Rogers, CSOM ’22, said. “We’re going to make sure that people are aware of the water crisis and what charity: water does to help it out.”

 The student organization is the Boston College chapter of the larger charity: water organization, founded by CEO Scott Harrison after he realized the severity of the world’s water crisis.

“There are over 700 million people in the world that don’t have access to clean water every day,” treasurer of BC’s chapter Josh Abel, CSOM ’23, said. “[Harrison] also knew that a lot of his friends at the time didn’t really trust charities. They didn’t want to give their money without knowing where it was going to, since it wasn’t trackable.”

To combat this, Harrison came up with the 100 percent model, where 100 percent of donations would go directly to water projects, made possible by private donors covering operating costs and overheads. Also, charity: water lets donors track the effects of their contributions as they are used to fund wells and filtration infrastructure around the globe.

BC’s chapter of charity: water aims to spread awareness of the water crisis and gather donations through a vast array of events, according to Co-President Julia Dunn, MCAS ’22.

“We do a lot of tabling events in the Quad,” Dunn said. “We also do a lot around holidays, like a Halloween event and a Christmas sweater sale. We try to promote and raise awareness about [the water crisis] to hopefully get our own BC well built somewhere.”

The organization has experienced massive growth in recent years, Abel said. In addition to the incredible efforts of the charity: water team, Abel attributed this growth to required freshman reading in the Carroll School of Management.  

“Freshmen in CSOM are required to read Thirst, which was Scott Harrison’s memoir about the founding of charity: water,” Abel said. “We’re now on the third year of freshmen who have read Thirst, so we’ve seen a ton of interest from those who read the book or had a friend tell them about it.”

Additionally, BC charity: water adapted remarkably well to the difficulty of organizing in-person events due to COVID-19, Rogers said.

“Social media helped our growth a lot,” Rogers said. “It was huge last year so we used it to publicize events and raise awareness. We also did a lot of bingo boards where we would ask people to use Venmo for individual donations.”

The organization is excited to transition back to being in-person with their first event of the year on Sept. 29, according to Co-Vice President Connor Thomson, MCAS ’23.

“We’re doing Beach Day,” Thomson, MCAS ’23, said. “We’re going to be at a table out on the Quad during the day, raising money and talking to people about the water crisis. It’s a great way for us to introduce ourselves to a lot of those walking between classes and get our new members integrated into the club for one of our first events.”

Dunn said that BC charity: water is excited to use this annual Beach Day to engage students and have a great start to their operations for the year.

“We’re really excited to get more people involved at our tabling events,” Dunn said. “Which is really awesome because it’s a good start off point for the year as we open our campaign and get people familiar with charity: water and what we do.”

Featured Graphic by Olivia Charbonneau / Heights Editor 

September 26, 2021