A crowd clad in blue T-shirts filled Denton's South Lakes Park on Sunday afternoon for a walk to raise money to build wells in Tanzania and Haiti.
Singing Oaks Church of Christ, partnering with Healing Hands International, raised $16,000 just on Sunday from church and other donations. That made for a grand total of $29,137 to build the wells for much-needed clean water.
Bob Bentley, a member of the Denton church, organized Sunday's "Walk4Water" with the help of Caleb McCurry from Healing Hands. The duo spent a month and a half planning the event and were in contact weekly with a goal of raising $30,000.
"In areas where we know there is a need, we are drilling," Bentley said Sunday. "We have people on the ground in both places to coordinate where to drill these wells. That's what we are doing today, trying to raise $30,000 to drill those wells."
The money raised will help dig eight or nine deep wells in Tanzania and Haiti. Singing Oaks had a similar event in 2015, when members raised $20,000 to dig shallow wells in Tanzania, but wanted to exceed that goal.
On Sunday, more than 150 participants walked a total of 2 miles around South Lakes Park to signify the distance that many people in Tanzania, Haiti and other countries have to walk in order to get clean water.
Healing Hands International, based in Nashville, recently sent water filters to Puerto Rico to help residents there get a temporary clean water source. Next, filters will be sent to Tanzania and Haiti to help them with their clean water efforts.
"We have a '10 for 10' form, which is people ask 10 people for $10, and with that one form they can raise $100," McCurry said. "If 75 people fill that out, it is enough to build one well. We can lessen the cost [to dig a well] because we have our own crew."
Bentley reached out to the organization three months ago, with a plan to raise more money to dig more wells in Tanzania and Haiti.
"With the great organization of Healing Hands, we think it is a wonderful mission for good water, and spreading the news about Jesus with these wells," he said.