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Different faiths raise poverty awareness

The Parthenon

Published: Friday, February 22, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 10:02

Marshall University students have taken it upon themselves to help improve the living conditions of the less fortunate by collecting donations for the Water Project.

The Water Project is a foundation that helps less developed parts of Africa purchase well systems for clean drinking water.

The students, Robin McKenzie, Jim Alnut and Hillary Baker, met during a history class, and discovered similar passions for helping others as a result of their own religions.

McKenzie, a Christian, said she is thankful for what she has and that it has inspired her service work.

“As a Christian, I believe it’s our responsibility to help the less fortunate in any way we can, whether it’s sitting down and listening to someone, or providing food and living supplies to those without. So mainly helping in any way we can,” McKenzie said.

 Alnut, who is Jewish, said faith is a part of serving others.

“Faith definitely plays a big part here, but also that part of us that just wants to help our fellow human beings solely because we all have potential for compassion,” Alnut said.

Alnut said the group got a donation plan together after a discussion on poverty.

“It was pretty cool actually. I met Robin and Hillary in class and we were having a group discussion and the topic of poverty and need came up and we all chimed in,” Alnut said. “After class we stuck around and figured why not raise awareness to the poverty going on in Africa. It was great to see how our faith helped influence the idea.”

Baker, a Christian and overseas missions volunteer during the summer, said she has traveled to different countries and that it is humbling to see how grateful people are for what they have.

“Our goal here is to ask people to be open to the idea of donating money, even a dollar, to the Water Project,” Baker said. “The great thing is that people can donate right from their computers, and even a dollar helps.”

Baker said he met people on a mission trip to Africa who had benefited from the organization’s help, and that the clean water wells improved the living conditions of different villages.

Kurt Andre can be contacted at

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