Paper for Water

Date Posted: 12/13/2012

At ages 6 and 9, sisters Isabelle and Katherine Adams have already helped raise thousands of dollars to help families across the globe have clean water. "I can't express how proud I am of my nieces,” says Ellen Weimers, a member of FUMC Orange, who recently hosted the girls for a special holiday fundraising workshop. “They captured my heart when I saw each of them born, and continue to capture my heart through their love of God and all of his children.”


According to Ellen, Katherine and Isabelle decided in 2011 to use the skill of Asian origami (taught to them by their father in reflection of his Japanese heritage) as a way to raise a few hundred dollars for Living Water International, a Houston-based charity that drills water wells in 24 developing countries. “Little did they know that their heartfelt mission project to provide fresh water to those who need it would be accepted with open arms and the money would just start pouring in. They quickly raised $9,200 for their first well in Ethiopia, improving the lives of more than 500 with their first attempt.”


The story of their success went viral on an international level. Isabelle and Katherine are currently raising money for their fifth well, having inspired gifts of more than $28,000 in one year for their “Paper for Water” project.


FUMC Orange recently hosted an origami workshop and invited the girls to share their talents and mission message. Church members learned to make the origami ornaments in November, and sold them at a Birthday Party for Jesus in December. With 75 in attendance, the event raised over $3,000 for all of the organizations represented, $1,500 for the Paper for Water project.


Although there is barely 15 years between these young girls, Isabelle and Katherine have raised close to $42,000 from the start of their project. They are excited to report that, on November 9, 2012 they received a matching donor challenging them to raise $50,000 by December 16. “If they hit that goal,” adds Ellen, “they will have $100,000, which is enough for 20 wells. That is literally thousands of people who will have their lives transformed and hundreds of thousands of hours that can be spent planting food, starting small business, and going to school instead of hauling water.” 


True Spirit of Giving

Since Americans spend $450 billion each year during Christmas, it can be challenging to keep the focus on giving where it is truly needed. This year, FUMC Orange hosted several events to promote additional options that meet critical needs, and the response was heartfelt. The outpouring of support to date has now inspired the sisters to make it their lifetime goal to bring freshwater to EVERYONE all over the world. Adds Ellen, “Over and over they remind the whole family that anything and everything is possible through God! They firmly believe this passage and live it day by day. Even though they are only 9 and 6 years old, they have already done so much to spread God's love.” To contribute to this cause, go to