Families donating to give clean water to African nation - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Families donating to give clean water to African nation

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Scenes of contaminated water in African villages led the Walton family in East Montgomery to think about Christmas a little differently.

"It took us about 10 minutes to decide once we saw the film clips," says Trip Walton.

The family is one of many this season donating $7,500 dollars to build a fresh water well in the African nation of Zambia--a well that if built would provide water for a remote village for years.

"If you give somebody a car or if you give somebody a meal, or you give somebody presents...that lasts for just a moment. This is going to last people for 10, 20 years, and it just is going to help people survive," says Walton.

Through an initiative at St. James United Methodist Church, the Walton's learned 1.1 billion people worldwide are without clean drinking water--leading to disease and sometimes death.  It's a need far outweighing their desire for Christmas presents.

"When we talked about this well, I thought that'd be the absolute best idea for Christmas," says Walton's stepson, Forrest Taylor.

The message reached Mark Chambless, too--who just a few days ago was planning a trip to Glendale, Arizona to watch the Auburn Tigers play in the BCS national championship game.

Plans changed.

"I really thought that the money could be spent over a much larger period of time and for a much better worthy cause than for me to see a football game." 

The donation gives the Walton's a chance to teach their kids how they feel about Christmas.

"You get to a point where stuff is just stuff.  It has no meaning," adds Walton.

It's a lesson the kids learned pretty quickly after seeing images from contaminated water sources in Africa.

"We have everything we want and need. We don't have much at all," says Coleman Taylor.

"The average person would be like, "I'm excited about getting this present because I've been wanting it, and I think it'd be something cool to have. I get to say me and my family saved thousands of people this year because we donated a well," adds Forrest Taylor.

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