3 minutes reading time (536 words)

Water is Life!

“Water is life.” How would you describe that phrase? For some, those three words are just words: a simple phrase that doesn’t mean much. For us at SERCAP, however, that phrase is the reason we exist.

Access to clean, usable water seems so commonplace in the United States that we never question it. As recently as the mid-1900s, however, there were plenty of communities struggling to survive without water access. A survey done by Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) in 1960 revealed that an overwhelming number of communities in the Roanoke Valley didn’t have access to clean water, and were forced to use contaminated stream water, rain water, or buy water from the store. Horrified by these results, TAP started the Demonstration Water Project. This project was created to develop water systems in rural areas while providing community residents the resources needed to address their own water problems. “Our founders knew the importance of water and how it can bring a community out of poverty,” said SERCAP’s CEO, Hope Cupit. The project was so successful that the Federal Office of Economic Opportunity replicated it on a national level in 1973. The project eventually became the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP.) Today, RCAP is made up of six regional, non-profit centers. One of which, is the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Program (SERCAP.)

While SERCAP has grown and the services we offer have expanded, our foundation remains the same: “Water is Life!” A community cannot exist without water. Water is an economic force that brings stability and allows for growth. Without water, many of the rural communities we serve would not survive. “It is the one thing that we all take for granted, but will miss when it is not easily accessible,” Hope said. At SERCAP, we believe that water brings life to everything it touches, and we will not stop until every individual has access to clean, safe drinking water.

This foundation informs all of our services. For example, we work to ensure communities & individuals have access to structurally sound housing. How does that relate to water? “Although we are building a safe, new home for our clients, the home would be useless without functional water and wastewater systems” said Hope. Clean water and stable housing are the first steps to community development, which directly impacts job growth, economic stability, and quality of life. This necessary infrastructure would not be possible for these rural communities without SERCAP support. Water is the foundation that holds our agency and connects us to the work that we are passionate about.

Even though we have grown over the last few decades, we will never forget the fundamental component that is tied to all of our services: water. Life cannot exist without it. At SERCAP, water is connected to all that we do for our rural communities.

It is important that communities know that the problems they are facing-- whether they are related to water, housing, or overall community development--are not too big or too complex for us to handle. We are here to help. We provide resources, support, and the means to initiate collaborative and solution-focused community conversations. To learn more about how we come alongside communities, visit our website.

Meet Jean Holloway
The Measure of a Man
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Search Blog

Latest Blogs

15 March 2019
Stories
If you’re in need of both technical assistance for your water plant and personal fitness training, we’ve got just the guy! Meet Anthony “Tony” Dvorak!Tony is a TAP--Technical Assistance Provider--for Florida, the southernmost state in SERCAP’s region...
11 March 2019
Stories
Every year, we host our annual Water is Life! Conference and Luncheon to celebrate the year’s accomplishments. And while every year is a joyous and celebratory occasion, this year is special. In 2019, we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary! This year...
08 March 2019
Stories
SERCAP News
Recently, SERCAP’s Essential & Critical Needs Grant Program partnered with the agency’s certified CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) Loan Fund to assist a low-income family of six (two adults and four children) in Warren County, V...
06 March 2019
Stories
SERCAP News
Recently, SERCAP’s Housing Department received approval to begin a new project in Montgomery County, VA, in order to help a low-income couple (one of whom is disabled) to make ADA (American Disabilities Act) design improvements to their bathroom. The...
11 February 2019
Uncategorized
A key element of SERCAP’s Mission is to provide access to safe, clean drinking water throughout the southeastern United States. Water quality plays a huge role in this; poor water quality is a direct cause of communities not having access to safe, cl...