Paige Hebert raises money for clean water


Photo submitted by Paige Hubert

Junior Paige Hubert raises money by gaining 10% of sales for H20ForLife. She loves to help out in any way she can to help the environment both directly and indirectly. The fundraiser was a success and raised money to go towards clean water

With the celebration of Earth Day, junior Paige Hebert spent her earth day volunteering to raise money for clean drinking water.  H20ForLife supported Paige on her mission to better the environment.  Paige has explained she has a love for the environment and the ecosystem of Minnesota.  She added she will do everything she can to make sure future generations can have this same attachment and love for nature.  Her fundraiser occurred at a local boutique in Lake Elmo, Minnesota on Apr 22, 2023 and is a reminder that there are many unique ways to sustain the environment 

She enjoys partaking in conservation projects, and when given the opportunity to host one of her own, she jumped on the opportunity.  She has always made it a priority to help the environment in any way she can, such as this H20ForLife fundraiser or helping Weaver plant trees and contribute physically back to the earth.   

“I’m really interested in environmental advocacy. And I really love nature, and so I wanted to do something to help the environment.” Paige explained.  

H20ForLife is an organization which does everything from making fundraising to informational events.  They also gives students the opportunity such as Paige received.  This includes monthly Zoom meetings and planning to ensure the student’s success and give them the opportunity to make the fundraiser successful.  With students, they focus more on small fundraising events instead of community service because it is more sustainable for donations rather than students working on ways to attempt to fix the water supply.  

“I found this cause through the fellowship and decided it’d be a really cool way to get people connected and advocate for clean water,” Paige said.  

Paige chose H20ForLife because she thinks the environment must be well-balanced and everyone has the same resources to thrive.  No matter location, what occurs in one part of the world affects the entire ecosystem of the planet which is why keeping clean drinking water accessible is s priority.  Focusing on Uganda where the donations raised from the fundraiser go, the money will help to exploit resources they have to dig wells.  This will, in exchange keep the ecosystem balances because no water will have to move around the world.  

“We all share the same environment and what happens in Stillwater, Minnesota is directly related to what happens in Uganda and vice versa. But that could take months ever to see the connection between them,” biology teacher Stacy Bartlett added.  

The fundraiser was located at La Vie Est Belle boutique in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.  According to Paige, the event ran smoothly and was proven to be a success by her hard work and dedication for a good cause.  She mentioned that many people came out to support her and her mission to help the environment.  Paige also wants to do more events and fundraisers such, as this in the future as it is a good way to ensure everyone has equal access to water and the environment is running smoothly.  

“Everything at the store 10% of the profits went to the cause. And so it was really a lot of advertising to get people to come and buy stuff there,” Paige said.  

Even though nonprofit organizations and the help of volunteers is a drastic help, some big corporations take advantage of people’s need for clean water.  The Nestle corporation, which manufactures bottled water, has been accused of charging local residents to install a well and take water from it, This is pulled from the native African land where water is typically hard to come by.  This also drastically pulls down the economy of poor countries just to get fresh water.  Due to this, Paige cautiously chose what organization to support through her fellowship program.  

“Nestle is really into bottled water and they found a niche where they go into these places. And they’ll find a place that has poor water and they will put it around and charge people for the water,” Andrew Weaver said.   

Ever since she found this organization, Paige has been working extensively to ensure the fundraiser is a success along with her goals to preserve the environment and help the people in need.  Over the past few months, she has been on many Zoom calls to form her plan while getting the opportunity to speak with the organization and other experts on the topic.  Through the planning and Zoom calls, the organization slowly guided her to success and have a stronger understanding of the environment.  

“I started doing monthly Zoom calls to brainstorm ideas for a fundraiser, and then they just helped guide us in direction had speakers come in and lead us to develop a fundraiser,” Paige said  

With Earth Day coming up, I thought it’d be a great idea for everyone to have a chance to celebrate together.

— Paige Herbert

While not the most effective, there still are many ways organizations provide water to smaller inaccessible countries.  Many of the people in these countries travel long distances to get to a water source that might not even be clean or safe to drink which is what organizations such as H20ForLife aim to fix.  Tapping into the current unused water supply is the most effective way to provide clean water as it is sustainable for the environment.  While shipping bottled water and other supplies of water from places such as the United States, is an unreliable and unrealistic way to get water across the world as the cost and spread of plastic would outweigh the benefits.  

“But to help them work within their own country with resources to better exploit water that’s already there. That’d be wildly sustainable,” Weaver added.  

There are many different ways to get involved with projects similar to this such as through a fellowship program or school.  Some schools partner with h20ForLife to teach and encourage students to learn more about events such as the water crisis in Uganda and slowly help the solution.   Doing these kinds of activities in schools will boost their awareness of the environment and could spark many new ideas and volunteer opportunities, such as what Paige did.  

“With Earth Day coming up, I thought it’d be a great idea for everyone to have a chance to celebrate together.”, Said Paige.  

The event succeeded because all items from the boutique on the day of the fundraiser would give 10% profit from the sales to the organization.  This made it easier for Paige to raise money because it would be based on what people already bought.  On the other hand, it was also suitable for the boutique because it boosted sales while supporting a good cause.  Ultimately, Paige said this was a massive success for her cause and the boutique. 

It was really a lot of advertising to get people to come and buy stuff there. And then we also had a donation bin with where I like kind of explained all of what it was for the school and Uganda for clean drinking water”, Paige added.  

Paige loves volunteering for different causes and gaining many new experiences from volunteering, she says her favorite volunteer experience was working with pollinators and ensuring they had the resources they needed.  From pollinators to climate advocacy work, volunteering is at her core of beliefs and values.

“One of my favorite volunteering activities was with the pollinator-friendly lions and solder, and so we went to Pine Point Park and did a citizen science count where you get to go in the field and actually look at all the flowers and insects.”, Paige explained.  

The fundraiser was a success, according to Paige, with her fundraising goal being met.  She will continue to participate in projects and opportunities like this because the environment is never being preserved and protected.  She is also very satisfied with how smoothly the fundraiser ran and the turnout she got.  As the fundraiser wrapped up she has already started to look at where she can go next on her journey to help the environment.