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How a 9-year-old bought a well for an Indian village


The money wasn't intended for this, but then he changed his mind.

Like most 9-year-olds, Josiah Shaffer wanted an Xbox; unlike most 9-year-olds, he bought a well for a village in India instead, an unexpected act of kindness that earned him recognition from Global Citizen in 2016.

Josiah had set out to raise money to buy a Xbox by doing 25-cent chores around the house, slowly but surely approaching his $300 goal. But just as his goal was within his grasp, he changed his mind. After hearing about Water Well Ministry from a friend, he decided put the money toward a clean-water well in India. According to WDay, the well is expected to provide clean water to 3,000 people over the next 10 years.

But Josiah’s generosity ended up being rewarded, too. Another Josiah Shaffer, 35-years-old, upon hearing the story, decided to buy young Josiah the Xbox he had given up to pay for the well. “It comes full circle,” Sue Shaffer said, the junior Josiah’s mother said. “It comes back to you.”

Clean water is a high-risk issue all around the world. According to, 844 million people lack access to safe water, and approximately every 90 seconds someone dies from a water-related disease. But organizations like and Catholic Relief Services work tirelessly to utilize donations like Josiah’s to bring safe water to everyone.

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