Anderson University senior Tyler Snyder and sophomore Tyler Ewigleben are working to build an organization that makes a difference.
The organization is called The Giving Water, and it includes both for-profit and not-for-profit initiatives. “Our plan is to create a completely biodegradable water bottle and market it in health food stores and coffee shops,” said Ewigleben. A portion of each bottle will be donated to the not-for-profit side. [Photo on left: The Giving Water hosted a benefit concert in April in Fair Commons lobby to raise money and awareness for the organization.]
“The other entity is a not-for-profit organization focusing on developing and building community centers in third world countries,” said Snyder. “The community centers will have fresh water wells, food, clothes, hopefully education, art classes, and any other things we can add.”
Senior Kylee Wilson is the third student collaborating in the process. She says the university has been a big part of the preliminary stages of this organization. “AU has forced me to dig deeper in my faith and really search myself and God,” said Wilson. “I had to ask myself ‘What is it that I really want to do with my life and what is it that God wants to do with my life?’” She feels that The Giving Water is part of the answer.
All three students are also involved in extracurricular activities on campus. Wilson and Snyder are both on the campus activities board (CAB), and Ewigleben recently signed with Orangehaus Records, the AU student-run record company.
The Giving Water started as an idea and a dream in Hamilton, Ohio. “I read somewhere that Hamilton had the cleanest city water in all of the U.S.,” said Snyder. “I thought ‘too bad we can’t just bottle the city water and give it to people who need it.’ Obviously because of health reasons, that can’t be done.”
When Snyder met Ewigleben this year, they realized they both had a slightly different but similar dream and have been collaborating ever since.
The Giving Water is still a work in progress. “It is a company, currently in a preliminary stage, with many goals and hopes for the future,” said Wilson. “Right now we are contacting various product development companies to get one that will manufacture and foster our product idea.”
“This organization means a lot to me. I dream about it in class all day,” said Snyder. “I consider myself very blessed that God has called me to this task, because it is so exciting!”
Matthew 25:35 is the basis for the project — "For I was hungry and you gave me something to heat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in" (NIV).
“Christians get a lot of heat for not really practicing what Jesus has taught us,” said Snyder. “By directly living out this verse, even though it is just one verse, I believe that can have a powerful impact.”
The Giving Water is spreading the word of who they are around campus. They hosted a benefit concert in April in Fair Commons lobby to raise money and awareness for the organization.
“Getting this rolling is a difficult, and at times daunting task,” said Wilson. “There are several hurdles we have to jump over, and it’s hard not to lose steam. We appreciate others’ prayers and encouragement along this lengthy process.”
— Aimee Munn is a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in political science and history. Munn is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.