We Have Raised Enough For TWO Tanks For Operation Safe Drinking Water (Going For A 3rd)

We just wanted to write a quick update about the fundraiser for Operation Safe Drinking Water that we are doing.  We started this fundraiser over the Memorial Day long weekend (in the US), and as of this morning we are excited to announce that we have raised enough money for not 1, but TWO (2!) water tanks.  THANK YOU!

Our fundraising deadline is this Friday, June 1st, and now we are looking to raise enough money for a 3rd tank.  If we don’t raise enough for the 3rd tank, we’ll simply use the extra money to buy school supplies for the children of the school where we’ll be installing the 2 tanks.

We just wanted to send out a huge thanks to all of our friends, family members, and business colleagues who very generously donated to this cause.  The mantra “every little bit helps” is so true, and even when people donate a couple of dollars, it all adds up.

If you can skip Starbucks today, or drink a glass of water (a given for you but a luxury for these kids) instead of ordering a beverage the next time you’re at a restaurant, you can make a huge difference with your small donation:

 A lot of feedback that we’ve received from friends and family has been that they are happy to donate because they know that “we’ll be on the ground overseeing the project” and that their donation is being used to it’s fullest.

To give you an idea of what exactly we’ll be doing on June 28th, I’ve cut and pasted from the email exchange between ourselves and Joe Bass, the Founder & President of Operation Safe Drinking Water.

This is what Joe wrote to us after we had hit our goal of 1 tank, and told him that we were going for 2:

Joe Bass <XXXXXX@gmail.com>
To: Dreama Lee <dreama@XXXXX.com>
Subject: Re: Your Plans

Schedule for the day.

Meet you at dock of Barracuda restaurant in Bocas
at 9 AM.  We will discharge our departing group there a

We’ll be in Almirante  ( the mainland port city ) by 9-30, load two tanks, tools, supplies on two pick up trucks and be at the school by 10:30.

Installation should be complete by  2 PM, followed by
“meet the village” and the school ceremony of thanks.

We should be back in Almirante by 4PM and back
at Red Frog by 5 or 5:30  Our boat will take you directly
to Red Frog

This will allow plenty of time to inter-act with the
teachers, students and community.

We would like you to sign the tanks with permanent marker pens.

You’re welcome to video all you wish as well as take photos.

Our installation team will go to the school on the 11th to take
necessary measurements and list all the parts an equipment
needed to install two tanks..  

The installation team will be headed by David Miner, an American builder and engineer based in Bocas and his assistant Luis Morgan.  Local PTA fathers will help throughout.You’re welcome to pitch in and help to the extent you wish.

My congratulations to the Lee Family.
You will change many lives and
have a remarkable day yourselves.

Your tanks will provide safe, disease-free water
for years to come.

I hope to meet you sometime next week.

With best regards,

– Joe

After we told Joe we were going for a 3rd tank, here’s what he wrote back today (please read this to get the best idea of how your donation can really help):

From: Joe Bass <XXXXXX@gmail.com>
To: Dreama Lee <dreama@XXXXX.com>
Subject: Re: Couple of questions and next payment


A third tank would be great.

A little info: Your school and the school for a third tank, if you are able to do a third, are along a dirt road that was once a small-gauge train track, hauling bananas to the nearby seaport.  You will still see remnants of the old train tracks embedded in the dirt road.

It’s an extremely poor backwater, abandoned area, with populations of indigenous people with no jobs due to the cutback in banana plantations.

The kids are under-nourished.  When the schools can’t serve their normal school lunches due to lack of usable water with which to cook, it impacts the health of the kids.

The reality is, if the kids don’t eat at school they often don;t eat that day.
Your tanks will ensure they are able to eat, as well as have safe water to drink..

This long “road to nowhere” has several bare-bones schools with names like “Seven Mile School & Five Mile School.”  This area is a priority for us.
We have already installed tanks at Seven Mile Shool, and on May 23, we installed tanks # 100 and 101 at Five Mill School.

The biggest first-aid clinic my wife has ever had was at Seven Mile School. The lines of sick, diseased or people with cuts, sores and infections nvert seemed to stop or come to an end. Herclinic, planned for an hour lasted 3 hours and people were still coming for help..

They’re far too remote to go to a govt. medical clinic.

Our #100 tank will be the cover story in “The Bocas Breeze” on Friday, the 1st.  The “Breeze is the expat monthly newspaper for the Bocas area, with a wide online readership.

Miraflores school is along this road, as are two other schools in need of help.  We could pick one of them for the third tank, if you have the donations to do so.

The schools need pencils, crayons, colored pens, notebooks & simple, one-piece pencil sharpeners, stuff like that.  We present them to the principals and they see the serious students get them. Artistically inclined students get the colored pens so they can put their talents to use.

One school we went to had nothing. The teacher moved hsi class under a tree where the kids did  2+2 = 4 in the dirt.

The schools need all the supplies they can get.
Miraflores alone has 240 students.

School supplies are relatively expensive in Bocas, due to it being an island — and a tourist center. They are cheapest and most plentiful in Changuinola the provincial capital and main market town.

You can make the trip to buy them, or we can get them in Chanquinola for you from the major suppliers and bring them along on the 28th.

If you allocate how much you want to spend on school supplies, we’ll
get them and bring them along with the tanks..  Whatever you wish to spend can be sent via PayPal, earmarked for school supplies.  We’ll bring you the receipts.

Thanks again for opening your hearts to those in need.

– Joe

Even if you’re not in a position to make a donation before Friday, at a minimum, please share this post on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin, or at a minimum, “like” Operation Safe Drinking Water on Facebook, or send them a Tweet!

Alternatively, you can make your donation here, using paypal (or your credit card):



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