I suppose you’ve never heard of a contest where you could vote for one contestant, and if they win, you’d save TENS OF THOUSANDS of lives. But that is exactly the case right now.

Text HKW to 50500 and I’ll explain what a difference that could make.

My name is T. J. Foltz. I’ve spent my entire adult life in youth and children’s ministry. Critically important work we do. I love it. But recently, some friends of mine and I were steered in prayer to start a bottled water franchise called Humankind Water. We give 100% of the net profits to fund wells and filtration systems in areas of the world where children are quite literally dying for a clean drink. 10,000 children will die TODAY for no other reason than the ridiculous PREVENTABLE cause–drinking contaminated water.

If you’ve taken a missions trip before, you’ve likely seen what I’ve seen and, like me, you’ll never be the same. Maybe you’ve seen a mother holding a baby bottle up to her toddlers mouth, and you said to yourself “Please, God. Please tell me what that kid is drinking is iced tea.” But it wasn’t. It was the only water she had access to. No wonder it kills more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

So here are a bunch of youth pastors, with help from experienced “business-types”, starting up a bottled water company. Figuring out barcodes and QR codes. We find the right source and make a cool bottle.

Then along comes WalMart’s contest.

Three months ago (now it seems like a year and half) a buddy of mine sends me an email. WalMart is having this competition, see. It’s like “American Idol” but for products, not singers. Whichever product gets the most votes gets a coveted spot to be sold on WalMart’s shelves. WalMart has 200 MILLION shoppers. Conservative estimates are saying that winning this contest could mean millions of dollars. And since we’ve committed to giving away ALL of the net profits, that will buy a LOT of wells and filters. We did the math–we could literally save tens of thousands of lives.

If you could win the lottery but you had to give it away, would it still be fun? Would it still be wildly satisfying? The contest runs like this: Everybody gets two votes per day. You can cast one via text (TEXT 4829 to 383838) and one via Facebook (click the “VOTE NOW” button at www.humankindwater.org)
4,300 products entered. Four weeks of a grueling round one, PRAISE GOD, we emerged in the top 10 – the finals.

And that’s where we are right now. And that’s why we need your help.

WalMart isn’t revealing exact vote counts or standings. They put out this mind-numbingly mysterious metric called “trending”. You can see it at their contest web site www.getontheshelf.com. But by our own metrics (and I wrote this a day before you’ll read it) we are in SECOND PLACE.

My friends, my fellow ministry leaders/readers: UNITE! If all of the youth pastors reading this blog will agree to vote every day, twice a day between now and April 24 AND if you get everybody in your youth group to vote it could push us over the top. How fun would that be? To have this national contest put on by the retail MONOLITH of the universe, be the contest that YOUTH MINISTRY won. Someone should write a book.

Let’s win this sucker. Let’s win this thing. Will you help us?

1. Pray. Pray for us to win, and in winning make millions, and in making millions save THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of children’s lives. I get $0 from the sales of the water.

2. Vote. Text 4829 to 383838. Go to www.humankindwater.org and click “Vote NOW” to cast your second vote, via Facebook.

3. Get the reminders. We set up a simple reminder tool which just might win the whole thing.
TEXT HKW to 50500. That doesn’t cast a vote. But it sends a “how to” on voting and gives the all important daily reminder to vote. Regular text charges apply with no surcharge at all. We promise not to hound you after the competition, but we most certainly WILL bug you til it’s over. There is so much at stake. This text has been our best tool by far.

4. Tell your kids. And please tell them right away. There are only a few days left.

5. Tell your kids to tell their friends.

I’m a single dad. Every night when I tuck my two beautiful boys in bed, the younger one, Elijah, always asks the same thing. “Dad, can I get a cup of fresh water?” I do what you do. Without thinking about it I get him a cup of water. I can’t imagine giving him sewage. But that’s exactly what millions of parents are forced to do. They have no choice. If we win, we will give hundreds of thousands of people that clean cup of water. Please help us win. Do you have a network of friends who don’t read this blog who might want to help?

If you and/or your church is interested… I’d be happy to come speak to your church/teens/etc… about youth in missions. I can share about taking a leap of faith. I can share about caring for the least of these. And I really hope I will be able to share about this National contest that we won! You can reach me at [email protected]

Thanks for all your help! God bless you.

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