Kids with a mission

From left, Sam Judah McLendon, Wynn Lowery and Ann Knox McLendon set up a lemonade and water stand to raise money for clean water in underdeveloped countries. (Mollie S. Waters | The Standard)

From left, Sam Judah McLendon, Wynn Lowery and Ann Knox McLendon set up a lemonade and water stand to raise money for clean water in underdeveloped countries. (Mollie S. Waters | The Standard)

MOLLIE S. WATERS | The Greenville Standard

For most area students, summer is a time for relaxing and enjoying some time off from schoolwork but two local children have decided to use part of their vacation time to help others less fortunate than themselves.

Sam Judah McLendon, age 8, and Wynn Lowery, age 7, are raising money and awareness for two organizations that help provide clean drinking water in underdeveloped countries.

McLendon’s charity is Samaritan’s Purse. which many may be familiar because it is the same organization that does the Operation Christmas Child shoebox program each year in November.

In addition to sending shoeboxes packed with love and goodies around the world, Samaritan’s Purse also sponsors a water, sanitation and hygiene project.

According to the Samaritan’s Purse website, “An estimated 1.58 million people die each year from diseases caused by unclean water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene habits.”

Their organization works around the world to change all of that.

LeAnn McLendon, Sam Judah’s mother, said that she is extremely proud of her son’s desire to assist others.

“I believe God put this on his heart,” said LeAnn McLendon. “He really wants to help other people and this program does just that.”

Wynn Lowery is raising money for a different organization, Charity: Water, with a similar goal.

According to Charity: Water’s website, 100 percent of the money raised through fundraising and donations goes directly to clean water costs. Over the ten years since its inception, Charity: Water has funded 19,819 water projects in 24 countries.

Jan Lowery, Wynn’s mother, said that the idea for Wynn to raise funds for Charity: Water came about one night while the two were discussing a story about people who did not have very much.

“She asked if there were really people like that in the world,” said Jan Lowery. “When I told her there were, she asked what she could do to help. I had heard about different charities building wells for clean water and that was all it took.”

On Thursday, June 30, Sam Judah and Wynn worked together at a self-made lemonade and water stand they set up outside the Camellia City Bakery.

Together, they raised $335 dollars, which the two will split and donate to their respective charities.

“His original goal was $1000, and he raised almost $1100 on the first day,” said LeAnn McLendon of her son’s efforts, “so he said if God can provide that much, He can surely provide $3000! So the goal has been raised.”

Both children were pleased with what they have been able to accomplish so far, but that pleasure was focused on whom they were helping, not on what they themselves had done.

“I feel great that people in other countries are going to get the opportunity to have clean water,” said Sam Judah McLendon. “God has been really good to help me and Wynn raise money for the world.”

Wynn Lowery added, “I feel great about doing something to help!”

McLendon’s fundraising efforts will continue through Aug. 31, and he has an online site where donations can also be made. It is www.class.org/SJM8.

Lowery also has an online site setup for donations at my.charitywater.org/jan-lowery/water-for-the-world.

Both children will be back manning their lemonade and water stand in a few weeks. Look for them outside the Camellia City Bakery at 121 W. Commerce Street.

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