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6K Walk/Run Saturday Raises Money To Help Provide Clean Water

May 03, 2019 - 11:51 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - Hundreds of Detroit-area runners will be taking part in a worldwide event this weekend to help provide clean water for the most impoverished communities in the world.

On Saturday, May 4, thousands of people will be joining the world's largest 6K walk and run to raise money for World Vision, an organization which bring clean water to children and their families.

Around 500 people will be taking part at eight different locations in Detroit, and Afghanistan war veteran Jake Vargo will be among them.

Through his military deployments and work in Central America, Vargo has experienced first-hand the seriousness of life without access to clean, safe water. 

"Running was a way that I actually gained some peace. I would go out and just run, and spend time with nature, spend time with God," Vargo told WWJ's Michael Cohen. "And I was sitting in church on a Sunday morning, and our pastor asked if anyone would be interested in running a marathon for the most vulnerable kids in the world though World Vision. So my wife and I both said yes that Sunday/"

Did you know? 

•    According to the World Health Organization, 844 million people lack even a basic drinking-water service, including 159 million people who are dependent on surface water.
•    Nearly 1,000 children under age 5 die every day from diarrhea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation and improper hygiene. 
•    Women and children are responsible for water collection in more than 80 percent of households in 61 developing countries; often, the walk is dangerous; children miss school, and the water is unhealthy. 
•    But much progress has been made, as today, 89% of the global population (6.5 billion people) use at least a basic clean water service; that is, an improved source within 30 minutes’ round trip to collect water.
•    Clean water frees kids from deadly diseases, liberates women and kids from a life spent gathering dirty water, and opens the door to education, a promising future and a full life.  
•    To look back at World Vision’s progress, in the early 1990s, we were reaching an estimated 200,000 people per year and were in just a select number of countries including Ghana, Mali, and Niger. Today, we reach an estimated 3.2 million people a year, reaching one new person with clean water every 10 seconds and reaching three more schools every day with clean water. In 2017, World Vision provided access to clean water to 3.2 million people.

Visit to register to walk or run in this 6K, or to get more details about the event. Learn more about World Vision’s water programs at this link