Paper for Water - Origami Fundraising

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Joined: July 18th, 2016, 12:33 am

Paper for Water - Origami Fundraising

Post by Tankoda »

Hello everyone!
I've addressed the topic of Paper for Water before, but only in passing. Today I'd like to briefly resolve that and to let everyone know about a fundraiser we're holding this month.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Paper for Water, we are a non-profit charity organization based in Dallas, Texas. We trade origami "ornaments" (kusudamas) for donations to water wells and projects around the world. Paper for Water was founded 9 years ago, by two girls, Isabelle and Katherine Adams, who were only 8 and 5 years old at the time. They learned that a child dies (at that time) every fifteen seconds due to unclean water, and they wanted to do something about it. Having recently learned to fold origami kusudamas, they had the idea of selling them at Starbucks to raise $500, which they would donate to a well in Ethiopia.

By the time they had reached their deadline for the goal (2 months later), they had raised not five hundred, but ten thousand dollars. With this success behind them, they decided to stick with the project. 9 years later, this project, now a licensed 501-c3 and known as Paper for Water, has raised more than 2 million dollars and funded over 200 wells around the world. Keep in mind, the girls are only 16 and 14 now.

As an origami lunatic, I joined their forces two years ago, and have been volunteering since. I undertook a project in late 2018 to raise 20,000 to fund a well in Kenya. After hundreds of hours of hard work spread over about fifteen months, I completed the project with the help of a few friends - we raised more than $30,000! The well is already fully functional in Kenya.


Of course, fundraising has been substantially complicated by COVID, but we are continuing to do everything we can. As a member of Paper for Water's Change Makers Council (a youth advisory board for the charity), I work with other students to further the goals of Paper for Water. I have personally led and overseen the creation of official positions for the Change Makers, and am working to organize several future fundraisers. For example, I am putting together an online origami competition to raise money, as well as helping organize the annual gala fundraiser.

Despite the difficulties imposed by the pandemic, we have persisted in meeting virtually every two weeks and are doing everything we can to continue raising money in these hard times. Our determination has been fueled by the knowledge that bringing clean water to needy communities is now more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives. However, those without clean water access are most vulnerable to infection. Paper for Water has responded to the critical need for safe water and sanitation in vulnerable communities by recently funding the installation of five new bathrooms and handwashing stations at schools in Zambia and Haiti. We have also provided 275-gallon refillable water tanks to fifty families in the Navajo Nation who do not have access to running water. At $250 each, these tanks are a simple way to help reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19.

Today I’d like to ask you to help me reach my goal of raising one thousand dollars for Paper for Water for North Texas Giving Day. Please join us to help provide clean water and sanitation access to the people who desperately need it right now. Many of you work at a company that will match your gift to Paper for Water. If you’d like help making sure that your gift is matched by your company, please email our Paper for Water liaison Rebecca Reyes at becca (at)

If you would like to support my initiative through North Texas Giving Day, please visit my page at ​​

You can also check out my fundraising video here:

North Texas Giving Day is in only TEN DAYS, September 17, and early giving has already begun! There's no time to waste.​

​COVID-19 has not stopped Paper for Water’s youth leadership and development training. My fellow Change Makers and I remain committed to bringing Water and the Word to the Thirsty.

Thank you so much for your support!

-Travis​ Nolan
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