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One of the goals of 5 Bucks is Change is to raise awareness for charities that can take a small donation and really make it go a long way. In the case of the African Well Fund, the long way is a mile measured by pennies; 84,480 pennies to be exact. Why a mile of pennies? Because many families in Africa have to walk miles every day to fetch water. That daily walk means that children are not in school, parents can’t work regularly and there’s a high probability that the water is not sanitary, increasing water borne illness risks.

This week the African Well Fund is challenging everyone to think about how easy it is for us to get fresh, sanitary water and participate in “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes – Pennies for the People.” It takes 84,480 pennies laid end to end to make a mile. So start collecting – one penny at a time – and try to save a mile’s worth of pennies in recognition of the distance others have to walk for their water.

Pennies can add up. 84,480 equal a mile.

Pennies can add up. 84,480 equal a mile.

In her blog post, African Well Fund staffer Elizabeth March lays out some great ideas how easy it is to start a collection at home, in the office or at church. She also provides resource links for teachers of all grade levels with background information.

The African Well Fund is dedicated to raising funds for building and maintaining wells in Africa. It was formed in October 2002 by a group of U2 fans inspired by the media coverage of Bono’s May 2002 trip to Africa. All donations to the African Well Fund go directly to Africare. Africare is the largest and oldest international non-governmental organization focused exclusively on Africa.

This week I encourage you to start small with just one penny and watch how it can lead to big things.