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August 14: Jody Landers
Jody Landers, Clean Water Advocate Home: Muscatine, IA Family: Husband Andrew Landers and their six children What she started: A grassroots effort called Water for Christmas
Jody Landers was raised in Colorado and married pastor and musician Andrew Landers in 1998. They moved to Muscatine, Iowa, and started a family with the birth of four boys in five years.
Their fourth son, Quincy, was born with a rare birth defect. After several weeks in the hospital, her son returned home, and Jody had an overwhelming desire to reach out to other children in need. In 2008, the Landers adopted twins Zeke and Kora from Sierra Leone.
After returning from their trip to bring their children home, Jody and Andrew wanted to help the struggling community of Sierra Leone and began contributing by collecting new pajamas and backpacks for local foster care children, and selling purses for young tailors attempting to overcome homelessness.
During this process, Jody began to learn about the clean water crisis — currently the leading cause of death in undeveloped nations — which kills an estimated 4,500 children every day. She then formed Water for Christmas, a grassroots effort that raises funds for the organization charity: water.
Water for Christmas encouraged her friends and family to donate to charity over the holiday season, foregoing the traditional giving and receiving of material gifts. Inspiring her friends and family to contribute to clean water projects, Jody continued reaching out and raised $100,000 in less than a year by selling baked goods and crafts.
Jody continues to advocate for clean water and has launched charity: water's campaign 300 Voices to keep raising money throughout the year.