There are many factors that keep far too much of the world in poverty. And lack of access to clean water is may be the most important one. Disease and parasites spread more easily without clean water. When families have to spend an inordinate amount of time obtaining food and water, children don't have the luxury of attending school and adults don't have any time to spend on anything more than basic survival.
But there is more to providing clean water than just digging a well and walking away. Families need a safe way to transport that water from the well to the household or else it becomes contaminated en route. Sewage systems need to be established lest the groundwater become contaminated from wastewater borne diseases. And all these systems need to be serviced and maintained.
This is one of the things I really like about the organization that is my choice for this week's charity: water.org. They are looking at questions more complicated than "how do we dig a well?" but rather trying to answer "how do we provide clean water to people for the rest of their lives?" Not only are they asking these questions, but they are answering them. With $25 they do exactly that: bring clean water to a single person for the rest of his life.
So today I positively changed a few people's lives forever. Pretty cool accomplishment considering I'm still in my pajamas.