One cup at a time

 Eight-year-old Sadie Lange hands Roman Hofer of Marion a glass of lemonade during her fundraising event Sept. 14 benefiting families in Orissa, India, by providing piped-in water to their homes. Standing next to Sadie is Rebecca Hofer and the couple?s son, Isaiah. Sadie made more than $600 at her lemonade stand. Turning lemons into lemonade is one thing, but turning lemonade into clean drinking water for families in India is quite another,

Sadie Lange, an 8-year-old from Marion, is on an unwavering quest to raise $3,150 to help the more than 100 villages and thousands of families that are waiting for piped-in water to their homes.

Sadie raised $602 through the lemonade stand in front of her house Sept. 14, bringing her total so far to $2,795, according to her father, Jeremiah Lange.

Sadie said she got the idea to help people in developing countries from a group called Charity: Water, a New York-based non-profit working in 20 developing countries around the world with the goal of bringing clean water to every person.

?My dad was watching a video for Charity: Water when I was 5 years old, and I saw it and it was listing all these ways you could raise money and I said I want to do a lemonade stand,? she said. ?Dad looked at Mom and Mom looked at Dad and they said, ?OK.??

According to Sadie?s mother, Dani, it costs $450 to bring three taps?which includes a toilet, shower and kitchen?into each Indian home. If Sadie reaches her goal, seven families will have clean water piped into their homes for the first time.

Even though Charity: Water is accepting donations until Dec. 31, Sadie has set her online deadline for Monday, Sept. 30, according to Jeremiah.

In order to reach that goal, she?ll need an additional $355.

When Sadie receives donations via email, Jeremiah said he replies with a ?virtual glass of lemonade? from Sadie. ?No calories in a virtual glass.?

Special message

After three years working with Charity: Water, Sadie was personally contacted by someone from the organization via Skype.

?They went out of their way to contact her, wanting to tell Sadie what the September campaign would be ahead of time and before releasing it to the public,? Jeremiah said.

September is the month Charity: Water was founded, Jeremiah said, which is why the organization picks one large project for that month.

?This year it is for Orissa, and Charity: Water is working with another group (Gram Vikas), already in India,? he said.

Gram Vikas provides clean water to villages willing to work together, breaking down the caste system in India.

Added Dani: ?If water was brought in without getting rid of the caste system, the water would only go to the wealthy and not people who really need it.?

Jeremiah said 100 percent of the money donated for the water project goes toward that account.

?You are not having to guess if 20 percent is going to paperclips or desks,? he said. ?Everything raised in this September campaign will go to India to do the water project.?

Family affair

In addition to help from her parents, Sadie?s younger brother, Keenan, does what he can, too.

?He enjoys it,? Jeremiah said. ?He helps get lemonade, pours it, and plays with kids that come by.?

Jim and Judy Christiansen of Marion, were among those who stopped by for lemonade Sept. 14.

As Sadie poured Jim a glass, he told Sadie she was doing was a good thing.

?How many young kids do this?? he said. ?She has good parental guidance.?

Jeremiah said he isn?t sure if Sadie is the youngest person taking part in the project, but she has attracted attention from the organization.

Charity: Water helped with the stand by providing Sadie with yellow straws, stickers and tattoos for the children, he said.

Anyone interested in helping Sadie reach her goal can donate online at www.my.charitywater.org/lemonade-into-water

For more information, call 620-381-3286.

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