In many countries across the world, people will use jerry cans to haul clean water miles to their homes.
Neverthirst is a non-profit Christian organization geared toward the mission of bringing water to the poor. One of the ways it raises money is through its fundraiser, WOD for Water. Typically, this consists of a 20 to 30 minute jerry-can workout to raise donations.
WOD for Water Troy and CrossFit Ilium have taken it a step further. They’ve paired the jerry can workout with a full-blown annual fitness competition in Troy, Alabama.
Jason Jones co-founded WOD for Water Troy in 2012. Then in 2013, Casey Browder and her husband opened CrossFit Ilium. The couple had participated in Jones’ WOD for Water the year before and got even more people involved in the second event. “That’s when a light bulb went off with us, going into last year for our third year, was to bring CrossFit Ilium as our presenting sponsor and make them the headliner for our event, and that obviously took us to a whole new level, last year and this year,” said Jones.
The event on November 21, 2015 marked the fourth year of WOD for Water Troy. Over $83,000 was raised for Neverthirst. “For $3,000, you can sponsor a well in India and change lives forever and change generations forever because they’re going to have clean water for at least 20 years, because that’s how long the Neverthirst hand pumps are guaranteed,” said Jones.
Browder explained how the event is typically ran: Registration begins early in the morning, followed by a worship service and an athlete meeting. A beginner WOD — this one the typical WOD for Water workout using the jerry cans — is held, followed by a full-scale competition.
The event was marketed through social media, flyers and tapping into the local CrossFit network, said Browder. And despite having just finished the event, Browder and Jones have already begun looking at next year, setting a $100,000 goal for 2016.
CrossFit Ilium got involved with WOD for Water because of Browder and her husband’s passion for the cause. However, since that first event, it has gone even further for them. “We saw a need for clean water,” said Browder. “After last year’s WOD for Water, we got even more involved because me and my husband and Jason actually went to India to see the work that has been done. So, that made us even more eager to do this year.”
And with the goal upped from $75,000 this year to $100,000 for next year, it seems they have only grown thirsty for more.
Photos by Candace Nelson