BlackRidgeBANK sponsors “Water Works,” a children’s book authored by a 10-year-old Sawyer Anderson, to help raise money for African water wells

When 10-year-old Sawyer Anderson learned that children the same age as her two-year-old sister, had died trying to access clean water in poverty-stricken south-central Africa, she was compelled to act quickly. What started as a cookie sale at her grandmother’s rummage sale grew into a sewing project to raise money for water wells in Africa. Although the two fundraisers, which began a little more than a year ago, exceeded $26,000, for Sawyer, they simply weren’t enough.

Today, she’s expanding her fundraising goals to raise additional money through a children’s book. Sawyer has illustrated and written Water Works. She created the book to illustrate the challenges African villagers face in procuring clean water and ultimately, raise more money for additional wells.

For each Water Works books sold, Wellspring for the World will donate $8.33 to World Vision to provide clean and safe water. The books sell for $9.99 each.

The catalyst for Water Works is a character inspired by real events: Brian, a boy Sawyer’s age living in the Mwamba Region of Zambia. His arm had to be amputated after he was bitten by a poisonous snake while fetching water for the family from the only viable source, a dirty, shallow well. Today, thanks, to the combined efforts of World Vision, Wellspring for the World and Hope Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND, along with many others in African villages, Brian and his family now have access to a well that provides clean, safe water to area villagers.

Before the book was created, Sawyer partnered with her grandma a little more than a year ago to raise money selling cookies at a garage sale. Selling cookies grew into a larger idea to sew chitenge bags. Chitenge, is an African wax fabric that is commonly used to make dresses, bags, and infant carriers. Sawyer sold the chitenge bags for $50 each. This is the cost to provide clean water for one person for a lifetime. The money Sawyer has raised from the sale of her bags, cookies and soon, books, equates to 10 wells and more than 3,000 lives.

Her motto: “Buy a bag, save a life, it’s an offer you can’t refuse” is truly living up to its purpose. Water Works is the next step in Sawyer’s vision to bring clean water to Africa. She hopes it inspires others to make a difference through volunteering or donating to this important work.

Water Works is now available. You can order online today.