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Charity:Water September Campaign Update: Week 1

Geoff Wood

Hope and I were poking around the Charity:Water site the other day and saw the PSA (above) that they had put together. The idea is "what would be like if Americans accessed drinking water in the same way that many people do in Africa?" and it's quite moving.

Later, Hope brought up the recent floods in Ames which resulted in the city being under a "boil order" for several days as the drinking water was feared to be contaminated due to a broken main and low pressure due to empty towers. How would we cope if that flood water was our only accessible drinking water? That's what the water looks like where Charity:Water is doing their good work.

Our friends in Ames were able to get by for a few days by either boiling or picking up bottled water until the safe drinking supply was fixed. They don't have that option in many parts of the world and that's why Charity:Water is doing this whole thing.

Back to the campaign, one week in and we're nearly 1/3rd of the way there. Huge thanks to my friends, Danny, Ben, Andrea and Linda and my lovely wife Hope for contributing!

Several of the above folks picked up the "$32 for my 32nd Birthday" idea which is awesome, but don't feel compelled to give that much. $5 or $10 donations are just as good (huge props to Hope and Ben for their bigger donations, too).

While you're thinking about it, check out the video below which features the Bayaka people who are the focus of the September Campaign for 2010 (donate at


Ames floods

Geoff Wood

Image by Arturo Fernandez/The Register

The flooding in Ames this week has been quite simply amazing. It was captivating yesterday to follow the updates from friends and connections in town on Twitter and Facebook, as they sent information on road closures and pictures of the damage.

Image by @IowaStateUNews on TwitterSquaw Creek, the waterway that runs along University Boulevard (formerly Elwood Dr), left its banks on Tuesday and soon overtook everything from the intersection with Lincoln Way, to the soccer fields, to Iowa State Center (the fancy name for the performance, meeting, and sports competition space anchored by Hilton Coliseum). The only landmark in the area left unscathed, through the advantage of elevation and the literal sand-bagging of our football team, was Jack Trice Stadium and the associated football complex. 

The flooding of Hilton Coliseum is draws a lot of the attention. I remember in the floods of 1993 that water was up to the hoops inside of Hilton. This time, the hoops were in storage since the floor was configured for volleyball. Said floor, complete with volleyball net, was captured in the image below floating in one piece in about ten feet of water. Simply amazing.

My thoughts are with everyone who's been affected by the storms this summer.

Image by Rodney White/The Register