The Lockeford Seventh-day Adventist Church has raised $7,000 needed to build the first of two wells for villages in Vietnam with limited access to clean water, and is close to meeting its fundraising goal for the second.
Lodi native Mel Potter, who has dedicated almost 20 years of his life to helping those in need in Vietnam, returned to the local area for a visit in June. That’s when he enlisted the church’s help to raise funds for the wells.
Thanks to their work to raise funds, one well is nearing completion in Vietnam’s Gia Lai province, and another $6,397.59 has been raised for the construction of another one.
“It’s exciting to know we are lifting such a burden and helping towards better health for so many kids and parents with this project,” church member Barbara Miller said.
The church, located at 19900 Elliott Road in Lockeford, will hold a fundraiser this Sunday starting at 8 a.m. to help raise the remaining funds for the second well.
Because of the success they’ve had raising funds for the two wells, Miller is considering pushing for a third.
“I had it in the back of my mind since the onset of this project to try for two wells. Now my sights are on three,” she said.
She plans to bring the idea up at the next church board meeting on Wednesday night.
Potter, a former Lodi High graduate and an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War, said old wells in the two villages had been dug by hand. Sanitation was poor, and bottled water was not an option because of the cost and the long distance to the nearest town that would have it in supply.
The new wells will replace the older ones, serving between 300 and 500 people in each village, he said.
Those interested in helping the church raise the needed funds can contact Barbara Miller at 209-608-0827. All checks should be made out to Lockeford Seventh-day Adventist Church, with the note that it’s for the Vietnam well project. Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 70, Lockeford, CA 95237.