Katie Jaggers, Author at WaterStep

Save MORE Lives at Give Local Louisville

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The excitement is building as we get closer and closer to September 15! Stay tuned for some big announcements that we’ll be making on Facebook over the next few weeks. If you haven’t already done so, make sure you stay connected by “liking” us @waterstep or signing up for our newsletter here.

Give Local Louisville is organized by the Community Foundation of Louisville, and is the biggest day of online giving in our community. You can make your gift between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 15 by clicking here. This year the incentive pool is over $200,000 and includes more prizes.  Unique gifts (1 gift of $10 or more) can be made multiple times throughout the day by the same donor, which increases the chance of prizes. Giving isn’t limited to only those in Louisville, so please share this opportunity with your friends and family

Please read below for specific details on the prizes,  and contact Jessi about how to maximize the impact of your gift.


Bonus Pool
The $150,000 Bonus Pool will be distributed equally among nonprofits that reach certain tiers:
Tier #1:            Secure 25 unique gifts – receive an equal split of $50,000
Tier #2:            Secure 50 unique gifts – receive an equal split of $50,000
Tier #3:            Secure 75 unique gifts – receive an equal split of $50,000

Grand Prizes
Most Dollars Raised: Awards will be given in each of the three income/size categories (small, medium, and large nonprofits) Courtesy of Harshaw Trane.
First place:      $3,500
Second place:  $2,000
Third place:     $1,500
Fourth place:   $1,000
Fifth place:      $500

Most Unique Gifts: Awards will be given in each of the three income/size categories (small, medium, and large nonprofits) Courtesy of Harshaw Trane.
First place:      $3,500
Second place:  $2,000
Third place:     $1,500
Fourth place:   $1,000
Fifth place:      $500

Strategic Prizes
Early Bird: $1,000 to the organization that receives the first single online gift of $500 or more.
Morning Rush: $1,000 to the organization with the most unique online gifts between 5:00-8:00 a.m.
Evening Surprise: $1,000 awarded between 4:00-7:00 p.m.; surprise criteria will be announced on social media at 4:00 p.m.
Late Night: $1,000 to the organization with the most unique donors o online gifts between 10:00-11:59 p.m.
Newcomer Prize: $1,000 to the organization participating in Give Local Louisville for the first time that raises the most dollars.

“Water Is Everything”


“Hi, my name is Mercy. I am from Kakamega, Kenya, but I am here because of your gift of safe water. Water has been a challenging thing for me from primary to high school. There was one well for 2,000 students, but during the sunny season, the well would dry, making us have to go to the river, where nearby factories disposed chemicals into the water. It was not safe. Sometimes kids drink this water and they die from it. In America, everyone has water inside. We don’t have that in my village. At home, in my village, there is a pump and a well, but both are far away. We would walk with jugs and fetch the water. The water was very heavy, and we would have to make several trips. We had to use chlorine solution to make our water safe. But many people didn’t have it, or they didn’t know how to use it, or that drinking their water without treatment is dangerous for their health. People don’t understand. Kids are suffering from waterborne diseases, and many of them are dying because they gather and drink from a stagnant stream, where there are many mosquitos, which have Malaria, then the kids get sick. Many people die. This summer I am interning at WaterStep. When I was in high school, WaterStep gave my high school, Covenant Peace Christian School, a WaterBall, and it changed how we carried water. It was much easier, and faster, making more time for studies. I first came to Louisville in 2013 through a student extension program with Christian Academy of Louisville. I had the opportunity to come study in America for 3-4 months, which inspired me to pursue a career in Public Health and Business. During the extension program, I became close with my host family, and they invited me back in 2015 to stay with them while I attend university. They helped me apply and become a student at University of Cumberland, where I can continue to educate myself on how I can help others. I have just finished my first year at university. It is important to me for my future career to understand how business works, so I can help others have the tools they need to see their lives changed. I came to WaterStep because I was inspired to expand my views on how to work with this organization, so I can eventually help other communities. If I can have knowledge, then I can apply it to help other people. To be a part of a business that is doing a good thing is really empowering for me. I have a passion to help people, and see children live. If I can learn how to do this good work in my future, I can share this great news in other communities. In these growing countries, kids die every single day from things we can prevent with safe water. If we can do one small thing to prevent millions of kids from dying, it is better than not doing anything. There is not enough safe water for everyone. Water is everything. And if it’s not safe, nothing is safe. There is good improvement with the water. We have to do something.”

Works of Water

“I was thirsty, and you gave me drink,”
is a mantra that governs WaterStep’s mission to save lives with safe water.


Each day we are engaging with multiple communities, empowering them to be transformed by equal access to safe water, however our followers and supporters rarely see the faces of those they are saving. You may find yourself asking, “Who am I really helping?”

WaterStep is introducing a series focusing on Works of Water. The Works of Water series will connect you to the faces of those impacted by your support.

On behalf of those impacted by safe water, and our staff at WaterStep, “Thank you.”

Together, we are doing so much more.

Breaking the Cycle of Unsafe Water


“We must step up and do something right to break the cycle of enslavement, and access to safe water is the best way to empower and transform communities.”

Raphael Wanjala is from Nairobi, Kenya. He has initiated a long term partnership with WaterStep to transform his community through safe water. Now, Raphael is here exploring the next phases of transforming and empowering his community through sanitation. “Right now we are already doing water purification, and we are doing health education. If we can incorporate sanitation, we are going to save more lives.” With WaterStep, Raphael recognizes that in order for third world communities to thrive, the three components of water purification, health education, and sanitation, must be in place, and he is committed to helping his community solve the problem.

“Water is the core of your life, and the need is great,” Raphael says. If you would like to give to break the cycle of unsafe water for others like Raphael, please donate now.

Watch today’s WHAS11 segment on Raphael, and the power of working together:  Local Agencies Educate on Healthy Water

Together, We Can Do So Much More

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On Saturday, April 16, while many of us were still sipping our coffee, or watching cartoons with our children, families in Ecuador were scrambling for their lives in the midst of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Buildings were crumbling, the ground was splitting, suddenly destroying homes, businesses, roadways, and hospitals, and the availability of safe water.

Access to safe water in a disaster situation is critical. Without safe water, disinfectant, or proper health and sanitation education, a community’s health is severely compromised. Wounds cannot heal. Disease spreads. And, those who survived the earthquake are highly susceptible to dying from waterborne illness.

Recognizing this need, and possessing the proper technology, WaterStep began making plans to save lives with safe water in Ecuador. Since 2009, WaterStep has met the immediate needs of communities devastated by disaster, such as Costa Rica, Haiti, Philippines, and Nepal. WaterStep’s technology and training not only provides immediate relief, but our approach also promotes long-term, sustainable solutions to these communities. Our effective training in health and sanitation, partnered with our innovative technologies, help restore long-lasting hope and stability to families that have been shattered by disasters through the power of safe water.

On June 4th, a team of students from Indiana Southeast University, led by Dr. Magdalena Herdozia-Estevez, transported 46 chlorinators and 2 bleach makers to Ecuador. Another 54 chlorinators to follow over the next few weeks. These chlorinators can produce up to 1 million gallons of safe water a day to the areas worst affected by the earthquake. Dr. Estevez has graciously leveraged her relationship with IUS and Sister Cities of Louisville to partner with WaterStep, provide funding, and secure the transportation of chlorinators to Ecuador.

The community has also rallied together to show our compassion for our brothers and sisters of Ecuador. University of Louisville School of Music professor, Israel Cuenca, organized a concert to benefit WaterStep’s relief efforts in Ecuador on May 22. The concert raised $3,000 to go towards saving lives with safe water, and brought awareness about the devastation in Ecuador through beautiful music and dance. Read more here

In July WaterStep will send a team of 5-6 safe water experts to Quito to begin training in water chlorination, health education, and sanitation practices. Mark Hogg, CEO/Founder of WaterStep, says, “We work with groups that network together because most people do not know how to make water safe to drink.” For example, Hogg said, “We work with churches with 1,000 volunteers, and we will be there five to six days in an area to set up a training system. Training sessions are in the morning and afternoon to teach people how to operate the disinfectant machines and chlorine generators. We are teaching people to save lives. We are teaching people better health education” WaterStep’s objective is to empower local Ecuadorians to train each other, so that the fruit from these training sessions continues to multiply for years to come.

Please continue to follow the progress of our relief efforts here, and join us in making sure future disasters can be met with the same urgency by donating here.

Thank you for saving lives with safe water, and restoring hope in the midst of disaster! Together, we can do so much more.