ENCINITAS — A local chapter of a Christian humanitarian group raised more than $20,000 for clean drinking water during a Global 6K for Water on May 18 at Moonlight Beach.
Encinitas resident Erik Joller, a member of World Vision International, helped organize the fundraiser event in North County to help provide potable water to children and families in developing countries around the world.
“We raised a little over $22,000 for clean water just with our little host site at Moonlight Beach. It was pretty incredible just to see people want to be generous,” Joller said. “Just to see the outpouring of friends and family, and even some people found it through NextDoor and different advertisements we did throughout the city. They just found it organically and showed up. We had no idea who they were, but they came to walk for an amazing cause, which was pretty awesome.”
The Global 6K for Water is a worldwide event. The name is based on data that shows many women and children in the developing world walk six kilometers, or 3.7 miles, for clean drinking water. World Vision’s mission is to change that with money raised from these walks.
This is Joller’s sixth year hosting the event for the Encinitas team, which started in 2019, but went virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s event is the local chapter’s first in-person event, and they had around 150 people sign up for their team for a $50 registration fee, including a shirt and bib.
“World Vision has been around for about 72 years and has grown to be one of the world’s largest nonprofit organizations, partnering with groups like the Red Cross,” Joller said. “We’ve grown to become the number one provider of clean water. We reach one person every ten seconds at about three new schools daily, and we work in about a hundred countries. We have about 37,000 people on staff, with clean water being a significant initiative in the work we do alongside communities.”
The event was an out-and-back layout at Moonlight Beach, with participants completing a trek some people must do every day to access clean water.
“We walked the 6K together, and I brought a bunch of jerry cans that I filled up to weigh anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds,” Joller said. “I wanted to give people just a minute in that reality to see what at least one in ten people around the world are dealing with every day.”
Joller is already planning next year’s walk to be bigger than this year and hopes to see more people sharing their generosity for the world.
“We hope this will spark another movement of generosity this year so that if people see the need in Encinitas, in their backyards, they could see the need around the country, and they could see the need around the world and partner with organizations World Vision and simply make the world a better place,” Joller said.