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She thirsts to supply safe water

The United States has some of the safest drinking water in the world.

Americans turn on the water faucet for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing without a second thought.

Many people elsewhere in the world are not so lucky.

The World Health Organization estimates 1.1 billion people worldwide lack safe drinking water and 3.4 million people a year die from water-related diseases.

Sequim resident Staci Torres wants to change those statistics - one well at a time - by raising $4,800 for Life Outreach International to build a well in an African village. It will serve 1,000 or more people for at least 25 years.

Torres, Suncrest Village Retirement Home activity director, has raised $457 in donations and is working to set up a donation fund at a local bank.

She also is organizing a large garage sale Aug. 8 to raise money for the effort.

Anyone who wants to help with the effort or donate items can contact Torres at 360-477-9459 or 683-9372.

Torres emphasizes that 100 percent of the proceeds raised will be donated to the well-building effort.

Life Outreach International (www.lifetoday.org) is a 40-year-old ministry based in Euless, Texas. It has drilled wells in remote locations worldwide for 10 years, including 385 wells in 2007.

This year's goal is to drill 200 wells in five African nations: Mozambique, Sudan, Ethiopia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Torres said she is a big supporter of the efforts of Life Outreach International as well as World Vision.

She had been donating to the well-building cause for years. Then Torres saw a story of a 10-year-old girl who raised $6,000 to build a well.

"I thought to myself, 'Why can't I do that?' We have a wonderful opportunity to provide people with clean water for life and will be literally saving human lives.

"I thought it would be wonderful for the people of the North Olympic Peninsula to help people as far away as Africa have access to clean water."

Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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