Spring is almost here! Time to step out of a challenging winter and embrace a lighter and healthier season. Some families sign up for a 5K race to get everybody moving again. But what if you could get fit, get your family outside, grow your faith, and make a difference for a great cause?
That’s a tall order for any family activity, but it really is possible. In fact, thousands of families are signing up for the Global 6K for Water on May 20, 2023, for all those great reasons and more. You can do it from anywhere, and each $50 registration fee helps a person in need get clean water!
Why a 6K for clean water? Six kilometers (3.7 miles) is the average distance people in the developing world walk for water every day. Women and children, especially girls, spend hours every day hauling water that isn’t even safe to drink. But they have no other choice. We can change that.
Every child deserves clean water to drink — and clean water for handwashing to help keep them healthy — after all, the pandemic has taught us all the importance of handwashing for protection against diseases like COVID-19. World Vision reaches one new person with clean water every 10 seconds and one new person with handwashing promotion as well.
Are you ready to be a part of the change? Join us in fighting the global water crisis by signing up today. And don’t forget these tips for fitness, faith-building, and fun to help you and your family prepare well for your walk for water.
Get ready for your virtual Global 6K for Water
So, you signed up. (Or are thinking about it — what are you waiting for? S ign up now!) Are you ready? Can you get ready?
The Global 6K is great because you can do it anywhere! Walk or run the distance, by yourself or with your family, and be part of this global movement to change lives. Whether you join from the treadmill or your favorite trail, the neighborhood or the track … when you and thousands of others around the world walk, jog, or stroller-run your way to 6K, you’ll help people who need it most get life-changing clean water.
Maybe you’ve been unable to get outside and pound the pavement. Maybe you’ve never participated in a walk, run, or race fundraiser before. Whatever it is, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare well for your 6K and have a blast as you help children around the world get clean water.
Family fitness: The family that walks together …
The great thing about the Global 6K for Water is that you can make the distance as easy or as challenging as you want.
Most people will walk the 6K, some will run, some will push strollers, and few athletes will do the 6K while carrying a heavy jerrycan full of water! Whatever you choose, training can be a great family fitness activity.
Even if you’ve been a couch potato all winter, you can start with a 20-minute walk and increase your time from there every day. You’ll:
- Increase your cardiovascular fitness.
- Get some vitamin D.
- Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.
- Feel really good about helping others.
Training tip: When you drink clean water out of your water bottle, remember why you’re walking (or running).
And to educate yourself on what your participation means to children and families around the world, spend a few minutes with this family exploration guide to the Global 6K.
How to train when you don’t like training
Of course, you don’t have to be a runner to participate in the Global 6K or to help families in need get lasting access to clean water. But if you’re up for the increased challenge, a few basic tips can take you a long way. All it takes to get started is that first step out your front door.
Before running for miles, first get used to walking and getting in shape. When you’re comfortable, start jogging. From there, stick to the training plan, follow the run/walk ratios, and you’ll be ready for your 6K.
If you’re looking to connect with other participants for added encouragement and motivation, find group training runs in your area.
Growing your faith
If you’d like to go deeper personally or engage fellow participants in your church family, check out this pre-event devotional guide. At the end, it offers a suggested music playlist for your training journey and during the event.
Jesus said, “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. … Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:35, 40, NIV).
As you train together, talk to your children about the global water crisis, and then get your family talking about ways you can be the hands and feet of Jesus in your community and around the world. Here are some conversation starters:
- Who do we know who has a need we could help meet?
- How can we share the living water of God’s love with the people around us?
- What are some ways we can look out for “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine”?
The process of fundraising and training for a cause like clean water can be an inspirational and faith-building experience. Some people feel called to set big goals and then find unexpected joy when God helps blow those goals out of the water.
How to fundraise when you’re scared to fundraise
Asking for money can be uncomfortable. But you’re asking your friends and family to participate with you in doing something extraordinary and beyond yourself — helping communities get sustainable access to clean, safe water. Here are some basic steps to make it a little less awkward:
- Set an example: When people see that you donated, it shows you have skin in the game.
- Make a list: Write a list of 20 to 50 people you will invite to give.
- Be direct and bold: Ask people face to face.
- Follow up: Sometimes folks need a simple reminder.
- Share: Social media is a good way to share your journey and seek support. Use #6Kforwater to share your journey.
- Don’t quit: Not everyone will give. That’s okay. Carry on, be tenacious, and don’t give up.
How to connect with the child on your race bib
Every 6K participant, through the $50 registration fee, helps one person in the developing world get clean water, and your race bib will have a picture, name, and age of a child who will benefit from World Vision’s clean water projects. We encourage you to reflect on the transformative impact of the Global 6K and pray for these children as you participate in the event.
Plus, you will have the chance to sponsor a child — an opportunity to develop a friendship with a child in another country, and to show the love of God, which brings hope and lifelong transformation.
If a child is thriving, everyone is thriving. It’s why World Vision believes so deeply in child sponsorship. It’s a personal way to show God’s love to a child in need and to help that child and their community stand tall and free from poverty.
Rachael Boyer and Sevil Omer of World Vision’s U.S. staff contributed to this article.