My religion does not observe Lent, but I’ve always liked the idea. Gathering together in solidarity and going without for a greater purpose.

Alli asked me if I would participate in the Forty Days of Water campaign through Blood:Water Mission this year to help build wells in Uganda and bring awareness to Blood:Water’s mission.

The idea is that when it comes to beverages, to only drink water for forty days. No coffee, tea, soda, juice, milk or tequila. (Thankfully the coffee, tea and tequila aren’t vices for me to overcome.) The money saved from purchasing these extra beverages will be donated to build wells in Uganda. Give clean water, by drinking only water. Cool idea right?

Of course I’ll participate!” I’m well aware of how blessed I am to have clean water pour fourth from multiple faucets in my home, it isn’t until you have to go without that you realize just how good you have it.

Forty days isn’t that long! I could do some real good here!

Then I started thinking about it. Huh, I’ll be in Mexico for the first five days. It’s cool, I can go without Mexican Coke and virgin Pina Coladas, surely the beach is just as wonderful without fruity little umbrella drinks. The next week I’ll be in Utah for a fancy wedding. I’m sure they’ll have good water, and I’ll bet that burritos taste just as good with water as they do with Vanilla Coke and crunchy ice. No, really. I’m sure of it. Root beer and pizza isn’t that big of deal. Cookies and milk? Oh, well. It’s only 40 days. I mean, really all that’s left before March 30th is Blissdom, who needs bubbly beverages at a conference? Not this girl! Then there’s my monthly Red Bull indulgence, and my love of orange juice with breakfast. Water is good for me, it’s only 40 days.

I guess I’m just being honest that even though I want to do good, there’s still that little selfish person inside of me that loves a frosty cold bubbly beverage with dinner on occasion. I don’t even consider my bonus beverage habit to be all that extravagant either. If you’re loyal to Starbucks, can’t make it through the day without Diet Coke or reliant on a little glass of something after the kids are in bed? I totally get how this whole 40 day thing may not be your thing. It’s barely mine and I don’t drink coffee or Diet Coke.

But consider what you’d be doing with the money saved.

You’d be helping build wells in Uganda, for families much like yours to have safe reliable water to drink, wash, and cook with for the rest of their lives.

My heavens Uganda looks beautiful. My grandma has always said “I’ll travel to any continent but Africa. I have no desire to go there.”

I hope to make it there someday. Until then, I’ll raise my sippy cup in solidarity and help build wells.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to see one in person as well as the joy it brings to the people it serves.

Alli’s sidenote at the end of her email inviting me to participate read:

Blood:Water understands that their job is not to go ‘help’ Africans, but to partner with them. We, as Americans, may have more financial riches, but the riches of spirit and community in Africa makes Americans look like the poor ones.

Think you may want to give it a shot (pun!) and get involved? You can get more information on how to participate here.

Want to follow my journey and see what I give up and how much I donate? Find my profile here or follow the #40Days hashtag on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

While I am being compensated for participating in this program, I will be donating everything I make back to Blood:Water Mission, I figure that makes up for my lack-of-a-Starbucks-habit-donation.


  1. I’m in.

  2. This is such a great organization/campaign. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Erin Marie says:

    40 days should create the habit, too, so double bonus! I should be drinking way more water and much less soda (the only two things I drink). If I can get my husband on board (moral support), I’ll join in!

  4. I’ve decided to give up chocolate. Thankfully, Sundays aren’t included in the forty days of Lent. There’s no way I could give up coffee. I had ankle surgery a couple of months ago and couldn’t have anything to eat or drink (including coffee) before my afternoon surgery. My noon, I had a horrible migraine, my first one, and was puking. I told my husband that they either needed to put me out or cancel the surgery. BTW, wine into water is a great cause. I read the book about the charity and how it started.

  5. Thank you so much for this wonderful post and for your support. We greatly appreciate you spreading the word about our cause! Hope it’s going well for you. Keep up the great work!