Now H20 for Life, an organization that links schools in the U.S. with schools oversees, is asking American students across the country to walk the same distance -- about three miles -- to help raise money for water, sanitation and hygiene projects at schools around the world. It's called the first annual Walk for Water, and it's happening on Global Youth Service Day, April 16, 2011.
"Our goal is to get 10,000 kids walking, which means we could fund 500 water, sanitation, and hygiene projects to schools in the developing world from that one day," said Valerie Johnson, the organization's co-founder. "Think about it. Three miles is the average women and children walk for water in the developing world."
Johnson, a former parent volunteer at a school, started H20 for Life with a retired teacher, Patty Hall, four years ago. Since then, they have raised over a million dollars for water projects in 266 schools around the world -- most of it from American students holding bake sales and other fundraisers. All the money raised goes to schools they partnered with overseas.
"Kids should be carrying books instead of water," Johnson said in an interview with ABC News. "Water and sanitation is as important as math and reading to a child's education."
H20's first annual Walk for Water will be held at the new home of the Minnesota Twins, Target Field, in Minneapolis. According to Johnson, students raise funds by asking friends and family to pledge money depending on how far they walk. To sign up, click here.
"If only 25 people raise $100 that's enough for a water project, " Johnson told ABC News. "Kids do it by asking their moms, dads and neighbors to sponsor them. It will help kids stay in school, and help with hygiene."
Students, schools, and businesses can get involved by hosting their own Walk for Water. Click here for information on how you can host a walk in your neighborhood.
To find out which schools overseas are waiting for partners, click here.