Tomorrow, Santa Barbara water charity Hands4Others, in partnership with UCSB Real Life, will host a 5k run at 10 a.m. at the faculty club lawn to raise funds to install clean water systems in Honduras.

Following the race, H4O will hold a raffle, offering various prizes including a gym membership and gift cards to The Habit, among other items. Early registration for the race is $20 online, and participants can register Saturday for a $25 fee beginning at 9 a.m.

H4O was started in 2010 by Spencer Dusebout and several friends after a trip to Belize exposed them to poverty firsthand. Dusebout said he and his friends returned looking for a way to help combat global water scarcity.

“Women and children were walking for roughly two miles to get water from a river, that when we looked at and inspected we thought looked a little more like coffee, it was so brown and discolored. This was the water they drank and bathed in,” Dusebout said.

According to Dusebout, he and his friends received guidance from a group called Water Missions International, a nonprofit engineering organization dedicated to providing sustainable water solutions to people in developing countries. They were further inspired by the support they received from peers, friends and adults in the community who were excited about the work Dusebout and his friends were doing and wanted to get involved.

Dusebout said that from the beginning, he and his friends wanted H4O to be both a charity and an organization to offer young people the opportunity to create change.

According to program director Casey O’Toole, H4O has been to 11 countries and provided clean water for nearly 150,000 people. O’Toole said he hopes tomorrow’s event will inspire a movement among students to combat global water scarcity.

“I’m really trying to encourage students to learn more about us and hopefully start up an H4O club at UCSB. That’s one of my big goals of this event.” O’Toole said. “To raise awareness of what we do at H4O so that they’ll be excited even further so that they set up a club to help raise water awareness.”

According to O’Toole, members of the organization will be taking a trip to a village in Honduras to see firsthand how their water system will benefit the people living there. Local businesses and charities will be selling apparel and relevant products to racers and spectators.

Fourth year global studies major Connor Davidge, who runs one such organization, has pledged to donate three dollars from every sale to H4O and said he thinks H4O is a good role model for groups like his that are seeking to affect positive change in the world.

“They are 100 percent transparent, whenever you donate money to their organization it actually goes directly to the water systems they are implementing into the villages.” Davidge said. “Whereas a lot of the time the problem with a lot of NGO’s is that you donate money, but part of that is going to build up their company.”

Dusebout said he is passionate about creating a positive change in the world and also giving young people access to the opportunity create that change as well.

“This is a tangible easy way for to help someone clear across the world who’s never been able to experience what you’ve experienced your whole life, the gift of clean water,” Dusebout said.


This story is a Daily Nexus online exclusive.