Student's project to help provide clean water to children
by Laura Braddick
lbraddick@cherokeetribune.com
March 04, 2011 12:00 AM | 4634 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lauren Sellers, 18, of Woodstock, daughter of Lori Sellers and Glenn Jackson, is organizing ‘Tea for Tap’ to raise money for UNICEF’s Tap Project, which provides clean water to children worldwide for her senior project at Sequoyah High School. The tea party is on March 19 at Tea Leaves and Thyme in downtown Woodstock.<br>Todd Hull
Lauren Sellers, 18, of Woodstock, daughter of Lori Sellers and Glenn Jackson, is organizing ‘Tea for Tap’ to raise money for UNICEF’s Tap Project, which provides clean water to children worldwide for her senior project at Sequoyah High School. The tea party is on March 19 at Tea Leaves and Thyme in downtown Woodstock.
Todd Hull
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To kick start her dream of one day working for the United Nations, Lauren Sellers of Woodstock is starting by raising awareness for an international crisis in her own hometown.

"More than 4,100 children die every day from water-related diseases," said the 18-year-old daughter of Lori Sellers and Glenn Jackson. "When I saw that number, it really shocked me."

Lauren, a senior at Sequoyah High School, was shopping around for a topic to pursue for her senior project when she came across that statistic.

She stumbled upon UNICEF's Tap Project, which raises money to provide clean and accessible water to children around the world.

"I found out that $1 can supply clean water for a child for 40 days," said Lauren. "That was really the motivation for my project."

On March 19, just three days before World Water Day, the teen will host "Tea for Tap" at Tea Leaves and Thyme in downtown Woodstock.

With a silent auction and tea fare, the event will raise money for the Tap Project as well as put the issue on people's radars.

Lauren, who competes on her school's speech team, said her goal is to raise $500 and have 70 guests.

Because this is her first time organizing an event of this scale by herself, she chose someone with experience in fundraising as her facilitator.

Kelly McClanahan, an administrative assistant at the Hickory Flat Kroger, has helped her company organize and run community projects for several years.

"I thought it was great that she would take that initiative," Ms. McClanahan said. "She's doing a very good job."

From making phone calls to finding businesses to donate items for the silent auction, Lauren has been behind all the action.

"I told her 'Why don't you just bake a cake?'" Ms. Sellers said with a laugh. "But she wanted to do something more."

Lauren said she sees her senior project as an opportunity to explore her passions and interests.

"It's what you make out of it," she said of senior projects. "I've always been fascinated by other cultures, geography and the social and political aspects of the world."

Lauren plans to study international affairs in college and go on to earn a law degree.

"With the opportunities we have, it is our job to help others help themselves," she said. "There are a lot of issues we don't see sitting where we are. The world needs people to help sort them out."
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