Got Alms? Clean Water Challenge Encourages U.S. Catholics to Transform Lives This Lent

Global nonprofit to connect U.S. Catholics with clean water projects.

BOCA RATON, FL – Feb. 21, 2024 – Looking for ways to make a difference this Lent through prayer, fasting and almsgiving? U.S. Catholics are urged to join a large-scale “clean water challenge” to bring safe, abundant drinking water to distant corners of the world — including villages in Zambia facing the country’s worst cholera outbreak in decades.

Cross Catholic Outreach, a Vatican-endorsed Catholic global relief and development ministry, is leading this effort along with Catholic ministry partners in nine developing countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

“It breaks our hearts to see tiny babies and children suffering from waterborne illnesses. In many parts of the world, families are forced to rely on contaminated rivers and hand-dug pits for drinking water. In this season of Lent, I encourage all U.S. Catholics to ‘give drink to the thirsty’ by supporting the Church’s efforts to share clean water,” said Michele Sagarino, president of Cross Catholic Outreach.

In recent years, Cross Catholic Outreach has drilled 83 wells in Kenya, and now the ministry is expanding its efforts in Africa’s Sub-Saharan nations of Zambia and Malawi where Catholic leaders recently have identified more than 100 villages in critical need of safe water. The ministry’s plan is to bless 49,000 people in four dioceses with a lifetime of clean water and other interventions to serve the poor and strengthen their faith.

Accessing clean water is a critical need not being met in many parts of the world. According to the World Health Organization, more than 500 people in Zambia have died from cholera in just the first five weeks of 2024. The bacterial infection is spread primarily through contaminated water, and without treatment, death can occur within hours of the onset of symptoms.

A gift of $23 to Cross Catholic Outreach can fund a lifetime of clean, safe water for one person. Sagarino hopes Catholics will want to support global clean water projects with their prayers and financial support.

“So many people want to make a difference in the world, and Cross Catholic Outreach can provide that opportunity. Our ministry stands in the gap, connecting U.S. families with hard-working priests, sisters and lay missionaries who do amazing work serving the poor,” said Sagarino.

Parishes, schools, Catholic groups, individuals and families can learn more about Cross Catholic Outreach’s clean water initiatives at CrossCatholic.org.

Watch the “Clean Water Gives Hope” promo video here.

For additional information, please contact Kevin Wandra of Carmel Communications at KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com or 404-788-1276.

About Cross Catholic Outreach

Based in Florida, Cross Catholic Outreach is an official Catholic nonprofit 501(c)(3) relief and development ministry that, since its founding in 2001, has provided more than $4 billion in aid to help “the poorest of the poor” in more than 90 developing countries. In addition to providing material aid such as food, medicine and shelter, Cross Catholic Outreach supports ongoing programs in partnership with local Catholic priests, sisters and missionaries to meet vital needs. It is recognized among Forbes’ Top 100 U.S. Charities and earned Candid’s 2023 Platinum Seal of Transparency. For more information about Cross Catholic Outreach, visit CrossCatholic.org or call 800-914-2420.