Alyssa Featured in Living Water International’s Annual Report

Living Water 2018-AnnualReview-CoverAlyssa and the Alyssa Ferguson World Changers Fund were featured in the recently released Living Water International’s 2018 Annual Report. Alyssa’s Fund partnered with Living Water by providing a grant to construct a water well in India. Alyssa’s story and the Fund’s partnership is shared on page 15 of the printed report (page 9 of the PDF electronic report).

An excerpt of the story is below. To see the full report and the photos accompanying the story, go to the Living Water International 2018 Annual Report.

Report excerpt:

ALYSSA: WORLD CHANGER When she was a fifth grader, Alyssa Janae Ferguson read the book “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park. Even at a young age, she was passionate about finding a way to help those suffering from the water crisis. Not long after, such an opportunity arose—though not in the way she imagined.

Just two days after her twelfth birthday, Alyssa was diagnosed with medulloblastoma—a type of brain cancer. She fought hard against the cancer, undergoing multiple surgeries, radiation, many rounds of chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and other treatments. Throughout this battle, her family and friends rallied support with a simple slogan: “Alyssa Wins.” Alyssa’s family often clung to the hope represented by the meaning of her name: “God has answered.” Despite all the hardship, they still trusted that God would provide answers.

During her illness, Alyssa was contacted by the MakeA-Wish® Foundation and offered an experience of her choosing. Alyssa was true to her calling to serve God and humanity. She gave away her wish as a donation to fund the construction of a safe water well for a community in Zimbabwe.

The story of Alyssa’s altruism touched many people’s hearts as it was told in churches throughout the United States. Contemporary Christian artist Matthew West wrote a song for Alyssa called “World Changers.” The lyrics of this song speak volumes about Alyssa’s vision: “From the ends of the earth to your hometown, to the lost, to the hurt, to the broke down, you’re the arms wide open, a love that’s showing every one of us the way…”

Alyssa fought bravely for three years and passed away last year at the age of 15. Her parents established the World Changers Fund in her honor. This fund partners with nonprofit organizations to sponsor the construction and repair of safe water wells. The World Changers Fund partnered with Living Water International to provide a well for a school in India. In the fight to protect children from thirst and waterborne illness, Alyssa won. Because of Alyssa’s vision and her family’s generosity, these students won’t have to suffer from the water crisis anymore.

 

World Changers Club Founded

Today, more than 100 students signed up to join the World Changers Club at Ridge Point High School, Alyssa’s former high school. The newly formed club was started by two of Alyssa’s friends — Addie Howell and Josefina Garcia. It is being sponsored by the principal, Len Brogan.

WC Club 1

The focus of the club is to transform club members into World Changers through service and volunteer work.

“We are grateful to Addie, Josefina, and Mr. Brogan for honoring Alyssa in this manner. Without a doubt, she would have been pleased to know that fellow students are also being World Changers and making their own impact in this world,” stated the Fergusons.

WC Club 2

The World Changers Club is planning several projects for this school year and will most assuredly make an impact.

Fergusons Visit First Well

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Today, the Ferguson family visited the well in Murehwa, Zimbabwe. The plan had always been for the family to go together after Alyssa got better. After her passing, the family still wanted to go and visit the first well that started the dream.

From the Ferguson Facebook page: “How do we describe today, the day we went to the village to see the very first well that began Alyssa’s dream and legacy of bringing water to people in need? Amazing. The school children, teachers, local pastor, and village chief gathered with us at the well. They were told Alyssa’s story in their Shona language. Scott, Sandy, and Jenna each had a chance to speak. There was a ceremonial pumping of the well. The children sang and performed traditional dances. We shared lunch together. We had a private time with just the three of us around the well. We shared tea in a kitchen hut. But most of all, God was praised by the children, teachers, and Alyssa’s story. They are keeping a picture of Alyssa and using her story to teach the children that they too can make a difference. There is no electricity, yet tons of energy. Emotional yet powerful day.”

THANK YOU for being a part of the Alyssa Ferguson World Changers Fund.

Zim well pumping

Documentary About Alyssa Wins People’s Choice Award

A documentary by Ridge Point High School students Kaitlin Catuiza, Kathleen Cruz, and Sneha Joseph earned the People’s Choice Award and also tied for First Place Documentary at the third annual Fort Bend ISD Film Festival. “World Changers: The Alyssa Ferguson Story” focuses on the legacy that freshman Ferguson left behind after losing her battle to cancer last year. The documentary also won first prize in its category. The Fergusons were deeply touched by the film and grateful to these students for telling Alyssa’s story in such a powerful way. Congratulations, girls!

Water Well in India Now Completed

India pic website

The newest water well is now complete! This well was funded in partnership with the Alyssa Ferguson World Changers Fund (www.alyssasfund.com) and the Vacation Bible School children from the Fergusons’ church at First Colony and Living Water International. The well is in a small village in India. While they sometimes had government water, it often ran dry, leaving the middle school with no water for months for cleaning, cooking, or toileting (they would just go outside to use the restroom on the school grounds since no water). They now have running water, and each home that uses the water is paying a small fee each month to build up a reserve so they can maintain the well and own it as a community, thus ensuring it’s longevity. We are excited about the completion of this well, and for furthering Alyssa’s legacy and dream.

Humanitarian Award Named in Honor of Alyssa

Three years ago, Alyssa received the first ever humanitarian award at her school — Baines Middle School. Last night at the middle school awards ceremony, it was announced that they have now renamed the award to be officially called the Alyssa Ferguson Humanitarian Award. We are so proud of Alyssa for receiving the very first award. And we are so grateful to Baines for renaming the award in her memory. Congratulations to last night’s award winner! We look forward to hearing how future award winners are being World Changers and making an impact.

Humanitarian