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THE GIFT OF WATER  Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A few years back, I took a different approach while holiday shopping for my family. I decided to make donations on their behalf to help those less fortunate. I had trees planted in honor of my aunt who is now disabled and hasn’t been able to garden in some years. For another aunt whose worn glasses most of her life, I donated an amount to cover the cost of an eye exam for a woman in Guatemala. My mom was the tough one to find the right fit and then, as I flipped through the gift catalog it hit me. My mom is my source of life, so it seemed fitting to make a donation that would cover the cost of a simple, yet vital gift: clean drinking water jugs.

I come back to that gift often. While it’s not as dire as the need in developing countries, I’m struck by how many places in our own country do not have safe drinking water. When I visit North Truro in Cape Cod every year, we are surrounded by the ocean and bay, yet the water from the kitchen faucet in our rental house is not suitable for drinking. My aunt down in Florida faces the same problem in her house, so this year I’m thinking the gift of clean, safe drinking water may need to be answered closer to home.