LOS ANGELES, California — Actress Patricia Heaton is well known for “Everybody Loves Raymond” “The Middle.” She has been a longtime supporter of World Vision, a Christian organization that fights poverty and injustice that affects children, families and communities in nearly 100 countries around the world. Heaton signed on to become the first-ever World Vision Celebrity Ambassador in 2016. Patricia Heaton and World Vision are working to improve the lives of people around the world.
World Vision is committed for the long-term in whichever country it is helping. It usually remains in a place for 12 to 15 years to provide aid. For example, World Vision has provided relief and aid to the Syrian refugee crisis since it first occurred in 2011 and it is still there today. Because World Vision remains in areas for an extended period, it allows the organization to be more efficient in providing crisis relief.
World Vision has also had a profound impact through its sponsorship program where people can sponsor specific children in the areas where World Vision is working. That sponsorship goes a long way, 84 percent of every dollar that people give goes directly to programs that help to provide a child with healthcare, education and protection.
Patricia Heaton and World Vision
For years, Heaton supported World Vision by appearing in its annual holiday gift catalog where every year, money is raised to provide poverty-stricken people around the world clean water, food, education and job training. She also voiced a public service announcement for the Philippines after the Typhoon Haiyan. In just three months beginning from when the tragedy struck in November 2013, 789,816 people were provided emergency shelter, food, water, cash for work and livelihoods, educational support and child protection.
Heaton and World Vision enhanced their partnership when Heaton realized that she wanted to further her involvement with the organization after traveling to Zambia with her son on a World Vision trip. During the trip, Heaton had an interaction with a local waitress who noticed her World Vision t-shirt. The woman told Heaton that because of the charity of World Vision, she was able to go to school.
Heaton in Rwanda
Recently, World Vision and the Rwandan government have partnered together with the goal of providing all Rwandans with access to clean water by 2024. Heaton and World Vision partnered up for another trip in February 2019 to Huye, Rwanda where she observed the water system there and helped debut and celebrate new a water pipeline that World Vision had built over the course of six years.
In doing so, 3,000 people were given clean water, women and children were spared long distance walks that took up hours of their day to fetch water. Therefore, they do not have to be susceptible to violence or sexual attacks, and the children can attend school. So far, in the entire country of Rwanda, 38,063 children have received access to safe drinking water, and 11,399 households have access to nearby hand washing facilities. World Vision’s long-term plan is to bring clean water to the entirety of Rwanda within the next five years.
World Vision Global 6K for Water
To continue to make impact on the water system in Rwanda, Heaton and World Vision connected to put together an event called the World Vision Global 6K For Water, in which she reunited with her castmates from “The Middle” in hopes of raising $15 thousand to provide clean water to children all around the world. The race took place on May 4, 2019, and thousands of people across the world virtually registered to take part in the Global 6K. They proceeded to walk or run six kilometers to raise money to provide children with access to clean water.
The race was a 6K because six kilometers is the average distance that women and children walk daily to get to drinking water that is still contaminated and unsafe. The total amount of money donated was close to its $15,000 goal with $14,715 raised. With the money that was raised, almost 300 people will be provided a lifetime of clean water.
Crisis and poverty continue to exist in developing countries and have a detrimental effect on women and children. Through the partnership and efforts of Patricia Heaton and World Vision, these countries will continue to be provided the life-enhancing tools necessary to exist.
– Cydni Payton