We are a family of mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and daughters and sons who find it unacceptable that thousands die each day as a result of lack of one simple thing: clean water. We are distraught that women and children walk three hours one way to fill a bucket with dirty water…water that may quench a deep thirst, but may also kill them. We are pained that 4,500 hundred children die each day as a result of the lack of clean water in their community. We are anguished that 1.1 billion people walking this planet do not have clean water…while we have so much.

We’re moving loudly and boldly with our bodies and our hearts. We are calling attention to a cause and trying to raise ten billion dollars along the way.

Ten billion dollars and the world has clean water. Americans spend around 450 billion dollars each Christmas. Ten billion dollars and the world has clean water. We believe this can be done.

Join us. Check out charity: water. (Follow the link or click the "Water for Christmas" button on the right.) Donate under the "Water for Christmas" tab at the bottom. Every last penny will go toward the building of a well in a community that doesn’t have one.

Watch our passion as we dance for water. Dancing for water and watching the ripples.

(These videos are posted in good faith. Please read about charity: water and consider making a donation before you view. Every dollar helps build wells in places thirsty for clean water.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Book Club--Davenport, IA

There is no doubt that we looked silly, even foolish. Some may have guffawed at the five adult women dancing in the middle of a martini bar, and surmised that perhaps we had consumed a tad beyond our limit. After all, there wasn’t any music and yet we danced. Admittedly, I was reluctant, self-conscious of my limited dancing abilities, and painfully aware of my scuffed up ten-year-old boots in desperate need of a polishing. But honestly, this performance had nothing to do with me. Instead, it had everything to do with my brothers and sisters throughout the world who are living and often dying because they are denied access to a commodity I often fail to appreciate–clean water. And so, in spite of myself, I danced.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Connie--Altoona, IA

FYI: This was originally danced to "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" but the copyright didn't allow us to post on youtube with that song. So bare with us.

Dancing...Laughing...Being with Family and Friends....it was a great time "Dancing for Water For Christmas". The Pedersen's and us were all a bit nervous, but when you look at the whole picture of "why" it became very easy! God works in mysterious ways...finding Tesi and her Water Buddies to start this wonderful mission, finding people who would never have thought to dance on a video (can we say the men in this dance?), finding generous men and women who are willing to reach a little deeper this Christmas for people who need water so much.

John and I are very proud of Tesi and throughout much of her life, have found it hard to say no to her and her siblings "ideas" or
whatever they have asked or needed us to do. Pretty sure you are not going to "Donate before Watching" our video - but hopefully you will because it is the right thing to do.

"Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will is to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think of these things, there will be born is us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world."- Calvin Coolidge

God's blessings and Merry Christmas to all - John, Connie, Marcus Dawson

hotflawedmama note: My family and friends are truly amazing. (And seriously, how precious is my dad when he gets his little solo walking in front of the group, too cute). My parents are far above average for the things they'll do for their kids and grandkids. I'm so proud to be their daughter. And yes, we laugh like this all the time. I had to leave the laugh on there, my aunts and uncles will all recognize my mom and my laughs from miles away! Enjoy!

Mrs. H's 5th Grade Class--St. Louis, MO

This is another class from the school that raised over $700 for Water for Christmas. Led by the heart and soul of our aunt (in-law) Lori.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

JB Young Intermediate School -- Davenport, IA

We are dancing for water because we think people and kids in third world countries should have clean water. The children in the third world counties are dying because they do not have clean water. They have to walk up to 3 hours to get clean water. We think it’s not fair that we have more water than we need while the people in Africa struggle hard to get just enough water to stay alive. We get to take showers and drink clean water without doing anything except turn on a faucet. The people in Africa have to walk to lakes and rivers to find water that is so dirty we wouldn’t even think about drinking it. They drink water that has been used for human waste. We are dancing for water because we think the people in Africa deserve what we have. Please give what you can so people in Africa can get clean water for their families.

--Kevi’Ahnna Wilmington, Nicole Green, Shayla Gales, Vera Clay, Shawnaya Thorpe, Sheniquia Wilson, Sierra Stokes, and Taylor Greenwood

Having water in the United States is like having air, we take water for granted. But in most of the world, water is a precious resource that not many people can afford. Woman and children in parts of Africa travel three hours to get water that is not even safe to drink. Forty-five hundred children die each day because they are forced to drink polluted water. On this planet, 1.1 billion people do not have clean water. How can we help? Just 10 billion dollars would solve this problem. I KNOW THAT SEEMS LIKE A LOT, but with about 6,740,422,806 people on this planet, just one dollar can go a long way. Every last penny goes toward the building of a well in a community that doesn’t have one. To donate to this noble cause, go to the charity: water website.
Remember, 1.1 billion people are waiting. Help them live another day.

-—Meghan Essary

“Water is sometimes sharp and sometimes strong, sometimes acid and sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet and sometimes thick or thin, sometimes it is seen bringing hurt or pestilence, sometime health-giving, sometimes poisonous. It suffers change into as many natures as are the different places through which it passes. And as the mirror changes with the colour of its subject, so it alters with the nature of the place, becoming noisome, laxative, astringent, sulfurous, salty, incarnadined, mournful, raging, angry, red, yellow, green, black, blue, greasy, fat or slim. Sometimes it starts a conflagration, sometimes it extinguishes one; is warm and is cold, carries away or sets down, hollows out or builds up, tears or establishes, fills or empties, raises itself or burrows down, speeds or is still; is the cause at times of life or death, or increase or privation, nourishes at times and at others does the contrary; at times has a tang, at times is without savor, sometimes submerging the valleys with great floods. In time and with water, everything changes.”
—Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci pretty much said it all, but we have voices, too. JB Young students got behind the cause. They danced for water to help raise money to build wells in Central Africa to stop people from dying because they only have dirty water. Kids made videos and wrote blogs. On December 18, 2008, the 8th Grade Class at JB Young is hosting a dance to help raise money for this charity and have a little fun at the same time. We’re raising money by throwing eggs and pies at teachers who have volunteered for this honor @ $1.00 a pop, and, of course, dancing to help raise money. We’re selling Dance for Water tee-shirts and decorated water bottles to raise money for this very worthwhile cause. Many students and teachers have donated money and time to support this cause. If you can, please donate any spare change or extra dollars to help the children of Africa.

--Thomas Newberry

Water. Dance. Blogs. School. Passion. It’s not often that these words come together, but when they do, magic happens. One drop of water—Ms. Bishop showing the Dancing for Water website to her social studies classes—quickly became a flood of energy and creativity. Kids watched the videos of Associate Principal Mr. Klipsch and art teacher Ms. Mesick DANCING for water, and their ideas immediately began to fall in a torrential clamor that ended only when Ms. Bishop began working with students and the Klipsch family to transform their ideas into reality.

We are blessed with the fire of creativity and activism, kids who care, and adults who will go the distance for kids to make learning and growing both fun and relevant.

-—Ms. Searle

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Students at JB Young Intermediate School -- Davenport, IA

“Those who randomly dance are thought to be insane by those who can’t hear the music.” —Angela Monet

One billion people on this Earth do not have clean drinking water. Many people die daily because the water is not safe. Imagine your nieces, nephews, brothers, and sisters traveling for hours to get water that has to last them weeks—water that is not clean or clear—dirty water that will ultimately make them sick. This is what about one billion people on our planet do daily.

Those of us who have clean water take it for granted, so as a school, we’ve decided to help. The eighth grade students are dancing for water, putting videos on a website to raise money for clean, safe drinking water in places around the world that don’t have any.

“Thousands have lived without love, but not one without water." —W.H. Auden
--Thoughts from Josie Mumm, JB Young, Davenport, IA

Imagine the dirtiest water in the world. How would you like to drink that? Wouldn’t you like to drink clean, clear water, or would you like to drink water with feces and dirt and lord knows what else? Just imagine your kids, siblings, and loved ones drinking that contaminated water. Contaminated water is normal in Africa. Dancing for Water (part of the Water for Christmas movement) is a charity that gives 100% of the money it raises to get clean water to the people in Africa who need it most. Did you know that one in six people on this Earth do not have clean drinking water? How would you like to be that one person who doesn’t have clean water? This holiday season, think about someone else—and please donate to Dancing for Water. Give Water this Christmas.
--Jessica Pearson and Shelby Woolison

People all over the world are dying just because they don’t have clean water. Little kids around age three walk over three miles by themselves just to get dirty water. They have to use that dirty water for everything—washing, drinking, and eliminating human waste. We are lucky to have clean water. Let’s help the people in Africa with money for wells that will produce clean water.
--Brittany Hazelwood

Stay tuned for more dances and thoughts by JB Young students TOMORROW!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lynn and Friends-Davenport, IA

Inspiration was behind this video so I must thank Tesi for telling me about Water for Christmas. I also want to thank a very dear friend Jessica and her family for helping us out. Both Jessica and I can understand the sheer devastation that unclean water can do. In the spring of 1990 both of our homes where destroyed by flood when duck creek rose over it's banks. The two mile radius around us was a wasteland filled with sewage and debris. That summer we lived in tents, campers, and anywhere our parents could find us shelter until they found new homes. While this can in no way compare to what is happening in underdeveloped parts of the world it did give us a glimpse. We want to make sure everyone has clean water.

Please use your imagination while watching our video. At this time technology and myself have not caught up with each other. So close your eyes and see balloons streaming, little girls laughing, disco balls bouncing, and a lot of dancing. Hopefully we can inspire other's to help us along the way. So in the spirit of Christmas we present to you Bouncing Around the Room.

Tesi note: Lynn is awesome. She has quickly become another of my favorites with her passion for fitness, her love of local food and her terrific sense of humor. She tried oh so hard to get the dance her family and friends did on video and then uploaded to the internet alas, no dice. I look forward to more from her though and so should you!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Students at Loyola -- Chicago, IL

As a future nurse and the president of an organization that works with kids in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, I figured that dancing for developing nations who need clean water would be a good idea. I also figured that after two finals and a big breakfast at 10:30 pm some structured procrastination would do my mind, and future finals, some good. Thus began our pursuit of choreography to a song by M.I.A., which in turn lead to a phenomenal night of no studying with the roommates, a great little music video, as well as water for Christmas for those who really need it. I love the idea of dancing, using one's creativity to benefit others, including those watching this video (you get to see some crazy good moves), those who made the video (we get bundles of fun during finals week) and those who need water...

With that said, enjoy some premium love and donate lots of money and hugs...or we will take yo monay. Cha-ching.


Friday, December 12, 2008

A Kindergarten Class -- St. Louis

This is another video from the elementary school in St. Louis working hard to raise money for Water for Christmas. They're over $500 now, which is remarkable and amazing and terrific.

One particular little boy in this video wants people to know he's part Sioux Indian! :)

Thanks, Lori!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jody's Kids--Muscatine, IA

Go to Jody's blog to read about her passion for clean water and her adoption of those two Sierra Leonian beauties!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sarah G -- Davenport, IA -- plus -- WaterforChristmas Auction!

Once, while on a writing retreat, I decided to canoe out to a little island in the middle of a lake and spend an afternoon writing there. No sooner had I settled in, though, then the wind shifted. When I stood up and looked behind me, I saw a big storm blowing in from exactly the direction I would need to go to get to shelter. I immediately untied the canoe and began paddling against the wind, but despite all my effort, I could not make it to shore fast enough. When the storm broke, I was still out on the water paddling as hard as I could. “This is nuts,” I finally thought to myself, “Wet is wet. No amount of paddling is going to change this situation now.” And so, rather than continue fighting against the rain, I picked my paddle up, laid it across my lap, closed my eyes, and allowed myself just to be in the storm. Listening to the rain hit the surface of the lake, I was struck by how little it sounded like water—how much, in fact, it sounded like a dry rattle of stones out in the dessert. And that made me think how at the moment, wet to the bone, adrift in a canoe, I was actually sitting in an incredible position of privilege. Not only did I have the leisure to be out on a lake in the middle of an afternoon, the biggest concern I could have with water was getting caught in the rain. I never wanted for enough water to drink or had to worry about whether or not that water was clean. I might be swept to a distant shore by the wind, but my hometown was in no danger of being swept off the map by drought. When I finally did make it back to shelter, I sat down and wrote “Though the Rain has Relinquished Speech,” thinking about how fundamental water is, and how to be human is to be tied to the rain.

!!!!!!!!SPECIAL WFC AUCTION!!!!!!!
Sarah has generously donated a signed, single edition print of “Though the Rain has Relinquished Speech” to be auctioned off in an attempt to raise money and build wells. This poem will be included in her second collection, The Calculus of Owls, which will be published in August of 2009. You've heard a preview of Sarah's work, now bid on on a copy of this precious poem!!

Here's the fine print:
The bidding will begin NOW. It will end Thursday (12/11) evening at 7pmCST. Please leave your bid under the link below this post labeled "Comments." Check back throughout the two-day period to participate in this "blog auction." The bidding will begin at $20. (Remember how we told you that $20 gives one African water for 20 years. Truly, your bid matters!!) If you are unable to check this blog throughout the period of the auction, feel free to send your highest bid to dancingforwater@gmail.com and we will bid on your behalf.


The winner (the highest bidder as of 7pm on Thursday, December 11th), will be asked to send an email to dancingforwater@gmail.com identifying themselves. We will then provide them an address to send their check (made out to charity: global so that it's tax deductible). The winner should also provide the address to which we will ship the print free of charge.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Well! --Buffalo, IA

So these are my kids in action. They love, love, love to dance. I think all kids do. Dancing, like most things, is all about perspective. What I consider dancing may be barely moving to some and vice versa. What I love about it, though, is that whatever it is, it brings joy to the person doing it and typically the person watching it.

Kids, for me, are the greatest place to seek joy. Even when they let little things get them down, it's only a matter of minutes before it's forgotten and life takes over. I constantly seek to be more childlike in that way (among others).

The awesome part about having built 3 wells (total is over $16,000 now) for Water for Christmas is that we know some things have changed for the Liberians getting the wells in their communities.

We've saved lives. There will be less rape, less time away from family for children. More time for doing fun things.

Things like singing. And dancing.

So here are my kids, giving their best imitation of how they would feel after a refreshing glass of clean water. I think, with the possible exception of jumping off couches, they've gotten pretty close.

Thank you for caring. For not tuning out. For actively choosing a different way to look at the world. The choice you've made is more difficult. Ignorance is surely bliss, but the life you've CHOSE of your eyes being opened, will be rewarded here and in heaven.

To being more childlike!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Elementary School Students -- St. Louis

PEGS Dancing for Water

Mrs. K's class dancing to "Beat It"

Mrs. K's class dancing to "Thriller"

An Elementary School in St. Louis has decided to Dance for Water. Each student that wanted to "STAR" in their class video was asked to bring in 50 cents. With a student body of appoximately 850 students, we were hoping for a couple hundred dollars. We have collected over $500 so far! Our school has always pulled through when people need them. The staff, students, and families have a heart of gold. A BIG THANK YOU to all the teachers and students participating in these wonderful videos. A BIG THANK YOU to all the people who have already donated and to those who will donate so that other children can have clean water!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Victory Raindance! $10,000 raised!!

When the Water for Christmas campaign hit two wells last week ($10,000!) we knew it was time to celebrate. Who better than our children to express our unbridled happiness? Here they are dancing for water. You may not find them as irresistibly cute as we do, but you’ll no doubt notice their unrestrained joy. We love that about kids—-they’re silly and happy and passionate and profound. And how wonderful is it that God makes each of us so uniquely? We are all capable of loving in magnificent ways and the water campaign is a testament to how God gifts each of us differently and then uses those gifts in a multitude of ways, all for the betterment of our shared world.

These children are connected, as we all are, to Africa. They may not comprehend the magnitude of this reality yet...but then again perhaps they get it better than anyone.

Give thanks. Give water. Give yourself to something greater. And most of all, do all of these things with great joy.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Abaye and Emaye- Rochester, MN

We are brothers and sisters. We are not eloquent writers by any means, but we do know how to enjoy life. We enjoy our lives that are filled with all of the basic necessities---things we take for granted. We shower, shave, brush our teeth, wash our clothes, use the toilet, and give our dog a nice brimming bowl of clean water every morning and every evening. Our dog has it better off than many people around the world. He has access to clean, disease-free water without limit.

Why wouldn't we choose to give of our time and resources to grant everyone in the world basic human necessity like clean water?

Why wouldn't you?

Abaye, Emaye, Sparky, Tater, and Noodle