Fewer people will die of water-borne illness this year, thanks to the effort of a six-year-old girl.
Londyn Austin, a first-grader at New Hope Christian School, recently donated $100 to Clean Water for Malawi.
Londyn, her godmother Mariah Smith and aunt Melinda McDougal, visited the Sun recently, where Londyn dropped off a crisp $100 bill to Clean Water President Wyatt Emmerich and Executive Director Stanley King.
“The people you’re saving are elderly and young people, your age,” Emmerich told Londyn.
The funds will be pooled with other donations and be used to repair existing water wells in the African nation, King told her. Well repairs run about $1,600.
“This is significant,” he said.
Londyn had been saving money since September, when she first learned about Clean Water from McDougal.
McDougal was reading a Clean Water ad in the Northside Sun when Londyn asked, “What’s that?”
McDougal explained that it was an ad for the charity, which helps provide clean drinking water for people living far away.
The ad included pictures of the poor conditions of people in the country.
“She (Londyn) couldn’t believe people were drinking this and taking baths in it,” McDougal said.
Londyn, dressed in a black and white polka dot dress, said she began asking everyone she knew for their change.
“I asked my granny, my tee-tee (McDougal), my daddy, my momma, my brothers, my sister,” she said.
Londyn has three brothers and one sister. She is the youngest of the five children.
After months of hard work, the first-grader, her aunt and godmother, Mariah Smith, counted out the change, took it to the bank, and exchanged it for a brand new $100 bill.
Londyn hopes she’ll be put in the paper, and her story will help motivate others children to give.
“She’s already saving again,” Smith said.
Since it’s inception nearly seven years ago, Clean Water has drilled or repaired more than 400 wells. Those wells, in turn, have improved lives for an estimated 404,000 people.