the Remembering Jesse Parker Charity was formed.
The other third goes to global issues.
like providing clean water around the world.
If you would like to learn more about helping to continue
Just go to the website.
17 short years was not nearly enough time...
And yet as you have seen.
it was more than enough time for Jesse to leave his
footprint all over the world..
We want to thank you for joining us on this journey.
Jesse Parker didn't have countless riches.
he wasn't elected to any office.
he just had a hope for a better world.
no one will ever know the number of lives that have
been changed because of Jesse.
If he were here today.
he'd probably say.
it doesn't have to be clean water..
it's about making a difference in the life of someone
who needs it.
maybe it's your neighbor who could use a hand.
a kid in school who needs a friend.
the child in Africa who just wants a ball to play
What is it for you??? What can you do??
For the Parker family..this mission is as much for
them as the people they're helping.
Because with each and every way they are able to honor
they are turning their tears 2 water..
It's a different life.
It's not the life we would choose.
I am a very selfish person.
If I could have one more day with my son, I would
But that's not the choice I get.
People say it's so wonderful you do these things,
I still would rather have my son..or even one day
As we move forward, we cry.
We miss Jesse.
He's an important part of our life.
Luckily I married a good man and I walk into his office
and I stand in the doorway and I cry for 30 seconds
and he drops everything and looks at me and he lets
me know that he feels the same way.
And then we smile at each other and say.
'we had camelot.
It was gone.
And we move forward.
I think what people sometimes miss when you lose a
child it's not just the loss of the child but the
loss of every moment that you are going to celebrate
THeir graduations and weddings.
And as Jesse's friends hit those milestones, you feel
And you are so happy with them - because Jesse would
be so happy for them.
I see Jesse most in my family.
In my daughter Bria, my son Jake and my wife Jenny.
Jen I see Jess in the beauty."
But mostly I see Jesse in people choosing to see each
And help each other.
And I see it when I'm in Africa and kids are hauling
clean water home and are laughing and giggling.
I see it on race day when we have our special olympians
and they and they say 'I love Jesse.
He was my friend." I see it in motherhood and moms
He was loved and still is and won't be forgotten.
He's a part of our lives and will always be.
Jesse is always going to be a part of us.
Anything that can come from that is just a bonus."
It makes me so proud that every wish and dream that
he wanted is coming to life.
Even though he's not here...everything he wanted -
that's not dying.
It makes me so proud of him...but it makes me so proud
of my mom.
She puts her heart and soul into all of this.
Her pushing through that pain to make his dream come
I miss his smile.
I can picture it in my head.
I just miss him coming up to me with that smile and
knowing you will never see it again.
I see him a lot in Bria - cause I can always goof
around with her and that's what I was like with him.
I just realize now how truly kind he was to me and
how he included me.
Just playing down in the field or playing soccer or
playing in the imaginary world we made up.
'Be the change you wish to see in the world.
fade to black.
JEN from Mike's interview
:37 His last day, he woke up early and ran along the
beach and I remember watching him run back and seeing
his footprints, not thinking it might be the last
day I get to see that, but when we're here, I feel
like his footprints can continue :54 and you know
his legacy I hope is hope, I hope his legacy is to
help each other, I hope is legacy is humanity, to
see taht we are all the same persons, we are all the
same, we're just separated by our circumstances and
somehow Jesse knew that and I think that's beautiful.
If each of us could find some piece of that to carry
with us, that would be amazing :19 He just had this
warm spirit and when I'm here, I feel that, I feel
that warm spirit and that kindness and the gentleness
of Jesse :28
Brenda Szflinski teacher
Every year I keep thinking these kids might not know
who Jesse is...but the do.
Because of their parents and our community they kmow
who he is and what he stands for and what his family
And they are excited to be a part of something that
started so small but ended so large.
Cassie Lenning Tomah 4th grader
:45 He had a dream to help people in Africa and we're
helping his dream come true :50
Sister from Chicken farm
:18 It's his big heart to help the needy which is
manifested through the provisions of clean and safe
water to the people in the villages :30
:06 Whenever we talk of Jesse, people think about
clean and safe water, yeah so I think that is his
Sister from school
:31 I believe his legacy is his big heart, his willingness
to privde service to others because before he died,
he wanted very much to provide clean and safe water
to the people in Africa so that shows that he really
wanted, he had a big heart, he had love the well-being
of others :54
:14 Wherever you go, the Ugandan's are saying oh,
thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing water,
it's huge, it is huge, I think it's probably bigger
than Jenny maybe even immaged Jesse, looks up at sky
:38 You invest a lot of time into your children, so
much effort goes into raising a child and unless you've
done it, you really can't understand that, but to
do all that and have this beautiful gift of a child
and then have it just taken away from you, that Jenny's
been able to do this at all, take her emotional and
internal sorrow that she has experienced and turn
it into something so beautiful I wish there was more
I could do to help, I wish there was something else,
you can be here for her, that's all we can do so we're
here to help her through her journey :16
:22 I never knew Jesse personally, but I guess I know
enough about Jesse.
Jesse was a very wonderful spirit, a happy person,
always wanted to do good for others and I think if
Jesse could see this now, I hope Jesse is looking
at this now, I feel Jesse is here with us, that he'd
be so thrilled, this is exactly what he would've wanted
to have happening :47 and so what is the legacy of
a 17 year old whose life was taken away and now thousands
of people are benefiting from the dream and vision
he had, beyond words, beyond dollars, beyond money
:19 It's change, it's hope, it's impressive, the people
here have never known Jesse either, they feel like
I do, they talk about Jesse's spirit, they know him
as much as I do :35
:55 You can't not feel the pain and yet the hope.
I miss Jesse and I've never known Jesse, you know
it just seems like he should be doing the things that
we're doing :08
:01 His dreams are what started all of this so really
he's the one that's brought this community water and
then after the water we got the chickens, the 5,000
chickens, from there it just keeps growing and growing
and we have all these big ideas now for the community
and I can't imagine for Jenny just to know her son's
dreams are what made this all possible, it just really
must be speical for her :32
:22 When sister tells people we're bringing clean
water, the smiles and the joy and the need and how
much they appreciate that shows me the legacy he's
learning :36 that he's bringing over and over again
:35 To be in the presence of this beautiful woman
with such profound grief and to see what's she's doing
with that, how she's taken, is transforming her grief,
which is very real and very deep to the gift of life
to so many children with her mission of water and
Jesse's mission of water, it's been an honor to share
with her :10
:23 It's pretty amazing, it's a legacy more than most
:55 that is the legacy of Jesse, is this water and
the fit of life an dyou know they've done a few wells
and there are plans to do many more, it's huge, it's
absolutely huge that you know as they say through
the tears come the water :11
After JEsse dies...there was a young person who posted
on his board...'I'll miss you Jesse.
You're the one person who was always nice to me.'
And that meant the world to me.
If that would be Jesse's legacy, to be the one person
who was always nice to me...that would be enough.
That would be great.
It's amazing the people who have picked up Jesse's
dream and moved forward with us.
That he has woven himself into the fabric who we are
aa Tomah community and even in a global sense.
Most importantly for us...it's more that the scholarships
or the wells, it's the relationship.
That connection.People choosing to support each other
and see each other in a compasionate way.That they
understand that having compassion makes us human.
THis little boy that I know is struggling, he ran
up to me and grabbed my leg and he looked up to me
and said, when I grow up I want to be like Jesse.
I thought - that's pretty good.
It's more than the people that knew him.
It's a lot of people that didn't know him taking his
spirit up too and that is all that mom and dad could
Besides me being a dad and being proud that my sons
spirit lives on.
The community is shining because of this.
That Jesse fought for the underdog.
That Jesse had compassion for those that needed it
For your son to have that legacy is more than I could
I am, so proud that that is the type of Legacy that
To turn our tragedy into this...action that is hitting
people across the world is so great.
Becky Baures, Track coach
A legacy of love, and remembering to be kind.
It's not about the money...or those concrete achievements.
It's those connections and bonds between people.
That love just continues.
Everyday someone tells me, you are living my nightmare.
And I agree.
I am living my nightmare too.
But they come and help us.
And they remember a sweet boy.
One of the things I've learned is Grief not heard
is grief not shared.
Everyone has a heart ache or a deep loos they carry.
And once we let our guard down and share it with each
other...that's where true healing happens.
It can be the loss of a child or husband or a special
needs child that you dreamed of a different life for
them.Or your own dream wishing for something different.
What has been amazing with our Jesse family is that
people have embraced us with that.
1 in 5 children worldwide will die because of unclean
It only takes one person to change to the world
Jesse Parker is...
fade to open or me in Africa...
Hello and welcome to the heart of Uganda, Africa.
I'm Mike Thompson.
We're so glad you join us for this News 8 special
Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa...
It is truly a beautiful country.
with lush greens and rolling hills....
But behind this beauty is a harsh reality for many
of the people that call this their home...
Over the next hour.
we're going to take you on a very emotional journey.
of heartache and hope.
But First let me tell you a little about this community..
The village of Bbumbu is in a rural area of Uganda
about a 2 hour drive from the Capital City of Kamapla...
The population here is right around ??thousand.
For the majority of people...their annual income is
about the equivalent of 200 US dollars - that's for
the entire year.
Now for most of us back home.
we wake up.
we take a shower.
brush our teeth.
take a drink from the faucet.
never having to worry about the water....
people have to travel.
two or three times a day just to get to a water source.
and when they get there.
the water is contaminated.
carrying diseases like e-coli and cholera...
Imagine what a well with clean water right here in
this village would do for these people...
Soon they won't have to imagine.
I'm here on a journey with seven women from back home.
we'll meet them in just a minute...
But this journey actually begins with one 17 year
old boy who had a dream to change the world
Here's News 8's Jennifer Livingston.
The rural community of Tomah, Wisconsin is known for
Of course its cranberries...
There's the Tractor Pull...
To some it's the spot where the 'I' divides.
But there is also a 'person' who is very well known
within these/the city limits.
A person who was wise beyond his years...but who's
life was cut short.
His name is Jesse Parker...and to many he is the heart
Somehow Jess had a way of seeing people in a crowd
and finding the person that needed him.
Everybody's friend and it was really nice to see.
Amy White, HS History teacher
Kind, caring, goofy, compassionate.
Just wanted the best for everyone.
Good for everyone.
Jesse Parker was in some ways like a lof teenage boys...
Dirty sock and cereal bowls...
But unlike a lot of teenage boys...at just 17...he
already seemed to comprehend what was really important
He cared about others.
He had a lot of dreams.
They were never to the prom king or the quarterback
- but how he could make a difference.
He dreamed of making a difference around theworld..but
started with the people he loved most in the world.
When I think of him - I think of him as a brother
to bria and Jacob.
He was always engaging them.
Even though I'm his little sister - he was the sweetest
to me.Always looked out for me.
Just super caring...
He was a great brother to Jacob - because Jacob wasn't
the easiest kid to get along with.
He WAS ALWAYS FUN AND ALWAYS INCLUDED ME.
Jesse path in life became clear early on.
Growing up he always had
a love for science and engineering.
In high school he learned about an organization called
engineers without borders who design and implement
clean water projects around the world.
He came home and said 'I want to do that.
I want to be a part of that.
So In the summer of 2009...about to begin his senior
year at tomah high school...Jesse's plan was in place.
Attend UW-Madison, then get accepted into the sustainable
engineering masters program which included two years
in the peace corps working on clean water projects.
One of the last conversations I had with him he said,
Mom, I don't need a lot of money, and I don't needa
I just need to help people.
And I could just see that he was going to have a joyful
For me I am forever thankful because I have that vision
The morning of July 4th 2009..the Parkers were returning
from a family vacation in Florida.
The kids loved being by the water.
We had an amazingly beautiful trip.
They loaded up with Jake choosing to ride with Jenny's
sister and her family in a different car.
Jesse and Bria were in the seats behind Jenny and
They were watching a movie with their headsets on
and all we could hear was their giggling and laughing.
It was such a beautiful day.
And it was one of those moments that you know 'life
that's when life changed in an instant.
There was a pickup truck ...Jenny and I noticed as
it suddenly turned across the median.
And we both said 'what is that guy doing?'
That's the last thing I can recall...
The truck slammed into the side of the parkers car...
There was a semi-truck behind us.
Our car flipped and was pretty horrific.
And I really did think at that moment - none of us
would survive this.
Brad was uncoscious."
I unbuckled my seatbelt and crawled out the window
and all I could see was cars and people coming at
me and all I could do was scream 'help me! My babies
are in this car!
I pulled Bria out of the car and she was sitting there
and long pause she's fighting for her life and I can't
get her to open her eyes and she's struggling to breathe.
And I just kept praying 'please Bria fight, please
Brad regained consiousness by the time the ambulances
He went with Jesse...Jenny stayed with Bria.
They put me in a room...
I asked to find Jesse.
They were working on him and I just begged them to
let me be in the room.
I just said 'I'll just stay by his feet so I can hold
him and talk to him.' And they let me in.
came in and said I want you to come see your kids.
At first we stopped at Bria's room and they told me
they were mostly worried about severe brain injusries
and that her lungs had collapsed.
It was the most terrifying image you can have of your
And then we walked to the next trauma room and he
opened the door and there was Brad standing next to
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was
tell my wife her son was gone.
This can't be true.
It couldn't be true.
The world just may as well have stopped at that point.
fade to Black.
Fade up to Bria talking.
It's all very fuzzy.
As soon as we could, we went to Bria's bedside.
And everything shifted.
We lost Jesse but we were fighting for Bria.
And I kept praying please let Bria live because if
you don't I can't breathe another moment.
I can remember seeing my parents.
We didn't know if she would survive.
Jake I remember playing music for her as she was
And they were fairly certain that if she did survive,
she coldn't come back all the way.
If you know, she's a fighter.
Brad When we exhaled was when Bria was in the ICU
and she had become conscious and we didn't know if
she knew what was going on and if she was functioning
the way she had been...and she couldn't talk because
of the tubes and she looked at us frantically.
And she looked as if she wanted to write.
And we get her a piece of paper and she writes "Help
That's when we knew our Bria was there."
In one way so
thankful...in another so utterly heartbroken..
I remember the first moment we stepped out of the
hospital and the sun was shining and I was so mad
that the sun could dare shine if Jesse wasn't living.
Losing my brother was so hard on me and Jake...but
to see your parents slowly die a little each day because
of their pain.
Bria Then slowly...seing the life come back in their
What was important to happen now is that Jesse's spirit
lives on in everyone he knew.
That everyone takes a little piece of what he was
and applies it to his life.
The boy who who was a friend to all.
The boy who cared so much for those around him.
He had a dream to make a difference in the world...now
the people he loved most in the world...were/are left
to make it happen.
Even as we sat outside of Bria's ICU room we knew
we wanted to drill a well.
And that would be the legacy we could give to Jesse.
I fully believe that someday I'm going to meet my
son...and he will look at me and say 'mom, what did
you do with the gift I didn't have.
What did you do with the time I didn't get.
as you just saw.
At 17-years old.
Jesse Parker had an amazing ability to touch the lives
of everyone he met.
And now five years after his death.
he's making an impact on those he never got the chance
From Day one.
the Parkers knew they needed to do something to honor
Jesse's mom Jen has made the trip here.
along with six other women.
with the mission to provide clean water to thousands
of people in this rural village...
who are also now realizing the reach of Jesse's hope
for the world..
The women around this table.
come from all different walks of life....
and although they aren't related.
:00 I never met Jesse, I never met him personally,
but I feel like I know Jesse :04
Mary EilerRadl is a Tomah Rotarian.
along with Jesse's mom..
She has a deep appreciation of Rotary's mission to
provide something sustainable ....like clean water.
for those in need...
And as a mom.
she can't help but be drawn in by the reason behind
:48 A young person with their life ahead of them,
so much to give and then that's suddenly taken away,
sunddenly ended, but you can pick up that flag and
run with it for them :01
Across the table.
and retired nursing assistant...Myra Anderson.
:05 emotional You want the best for your children
and you want to watch them grow, but that doesn't
happen sometimes, this is the best way, it's just
as a mom :22-
Rose Berry is known as a local community saint around
the Tomah area...
She'll get to experience the trip with her daughter.
UW-La Crosse Sophomore Laura Berry...
:37 That mother part of you just aches every time
you hear about Jenny's loss, you know, you're encouraged
just that we are continuing the things he believed
:00 You can donate money and that gives you a little
bit of purpose, but then to actually go, travel across
the atlantic and meet these people you're helping
and work with them and establish relationships with
That to me is really special and it's an honor to
be part of that :18
Tomah business owner Jane Donaldson is also a veteran
of giving back to others...
:30 It's just a tremendous reminder of what a plentiful
and gracious life that I live and it always helps
to center me when I go on a trip like this :46
:18 The Parker family is amazing and what they're
doing to honor their son is just a fabulous example
in turning adversity into something really positive
And you can't help but be touched by Stephanie Molster's
appreciation for what she's about to accomplish....
The 26 year old wears her heart on her sleeve...
:59 Wipes away tear You need clean water, that's like
a bare minimum for any of us so to help them have
that, it's amazing, it's amazing that jesse wanted
to do that :14
Each of these women brings something *different* to
but at the end of the day...
They are all brought together for the *same* reason...
:17 What they mostly bring is hope and a desire to
make a difference and I think part of the journey
is of course to help the people in Uganda, but it's
to help each other :26 and to lift each other up and
to grow in who we want to be, what we want to leave
in the world and what we want our legacy to be as
THERE IS ONE MORE PERSON CRUCIAL TO THE TELLING OF
A NUN HERE IN UGANDA THAT THE PARKERS SEEMED ALMOST
DESTINED TO MEET and that would eventually change
Her name is SISTER SaLOME...
Sister Salome and GROUP OF NUNS OPERATE A BOARDING
SCHOOL here IN RURAL UGANDA...
A local priest back in the Tomah area introduced her
to the Parker's in 2010.
it just seemed like it was a friendship meant to be...
Then in 2011.
Sister Salome traveled to the La Crosse area where
she made a lasting impression on the Tomah and La
Crosse Downtown Rotary Clubs..
both groups felt connected to Jesse's dream and to
the woman who seemed to want to carry it on.
across the ocean..
Sister Salome visted the Tomah area again last December
and has now become a part of both communitites...
She is definitely a force to be reckoned with...
and is determined to help the Parker's carry on Jesse's
So what's it like to live here in a rural village
without clean water?
A day in the life of a typical family.
when we come back.
I want you to take a moment to think about this number....
In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every
year walking for water.
and it's typically women and children who bear the
burden of getting it...
This is a bottle of water we brought from back home
and this is the water these people use everyday..
You can see the clear difference...
Also keep in mind..the typical family size here is
And when you don't have something as simple as clean
everyday is a struggle..
nats of walking
The winding walk through this cornfield....
is a familiar one for 5 year old Lamula.
It's one she makes about 5 times a day.
:37 dad Everyday they have to fetch water, morning
and evening :40
In her worn and tattered pink dress.
and a Jerry can balancing on top of her head....
Lamula makes her way to a small watering hole.
tucked away in the maze of corn.
and jungle in the valley...
It's where she'll collect water for her family.
:18 dad In the pond, we can't get pure water from
the pond :21
nats of her collecting water
The water is clearly dirty.
and most likely carrying diseases like Malaria or
but It's the only option for the 3-thousand or so
people in this village.
:27 dad People have been suffering walking for water,
looking for water far away :33
Lamula is one of eight children in her family..ranging
in age from one-and-a-half to 17.
They live in this tiny home...made of mud bricks..
this is my bedroom
which mainly serves as a place to sleep at night.
Her parents are peasant farmers...
:54 mom We are very poor, we are very work.
You work hard? I'm working, I'm digging maize, many,
we dig beans, we are digging beans :10
:13 mom My husband have one leg, have one leg..no
money we are very poor :33
The family earns some money by growing crops.
Lamula's mother has a small garden where she grows
She sells them from their home..
But it's barely enough to scrape by on.
:51 dad Life is not easy.
but I work so I can satisfy my family :03
The lack of a safe and reliable water source nearby
makes life even more difficult..
nats of her in garden
especially during dry season.
which runs several months out of the year.
:33 dad During dry season, the pond dries, the pond
dries and people go look for water from different
Not only that, during dry season, animals die and
even crops fail :58
and the farther Lamula has to walk to find water.
whether it's for drinking or for irrigating crops...
the less time she's spending at school.
:55 The children reach school late which means they're
not concentrating on studies because they have to
fetch water morning and evening :05
Water is life..
Which is why even the youngest of villagers like Lamula
morenats of walking through cornfield
they have to take whatever steps necessary to survive.
The people of Bbumbu have no idea yet the difference
a well will make in their lives...
But that is not the case for 8 other communties around
the world including those in south america, Haiti,
and the village of Busolo.
which is just over???
In 2012....they were the first here in Uganda to benefit
from Jesse's dream life..
Standing tall on the African hillside.
but barely visible through the trees in the distance...
:26 Ahhh, there it is! that's his well, isn't it beautiful
is a symbol of hope for the people of the village
:37 It's amazing.
Thank you sister, thank you, thank you, thank you
And for Jen Parker it's a journey back home.
to see her son again...
:50 So Jesse lives here with you.
The mile and half walk from Sister's school to the
Jesse Parker Memorial well
Nats of walking
is one filled with newly formed friendships
nats of meeting kids
and reflection on what should've been
:42 I loved seeing the well, but I would've loved
to see my son instead, it would've been better to
meet him here, but this is the choice I have :50
Each of the children Jen meets along the way....
morenats of meeting kids
a reminder of Jesse.
:01 I saw their smiles and to me, it looked like a
Jesse smile :04
and what he so strongly believed in.
:17 We got to meet some kids carrying his water on
the way up here and I think that was just so emotional
:22 :26 I struggled as we walked up here just to see
the well, think about Jesse's dream was to come to
Africa and to build clean water and make a difference
for people and I just think it was very overwhelming
With a picture of Jesse in his Tomah Cross Country
uniform prominently gracing the outside of the well...
The people of this village are reminded every day
of the boy who changed their lives.
:50 it's just incredible and to see his face, I think
that's the hardest part, to see his face on the well
and know that picture and know I took that picture
of him and how happy he was in that moment, I think
somewhere he's happy to be here :12
The pain of losing a child knows no boundaries...
The village chief in Busolo knows that all too well..
:54 through sister salome interpreting He also lost
a son in 2013 who was 14 years old so when he hears
the story of Jesse, he really feels very sad and he
knows what the parents of Jesse are undergoing :10
But through the tragic loss of Jesse.
a lot has been gained for the people here....
Since the opening of Jesse's well two years ago.
life has improved greatly.
:24 sister interpreting Before the construction of
the other modern well, the Jesse, kids especially
used to get fever, you know for us here, whether it's
malaria or typhoid, we have just one general name
which is fever :42
:18 sister interpreting They have new life actually,
that well added some good years to their living :24
The well serves about 4-thousand villagers..
and it was strategically placed near the newly built
Our lady of Guadalupe secondary school...
so girls could focus on their academics.
instead of walking miles and spending hours every
day fetching water...
:24 student in school When we got that well, that
tank, we were excited so that we can get water in
just a minute, you can get water, you bathe, you sit
and you read books, it helps us to concentrate on
our books so that we can study hard :43
:08 sister interpreting Water is life and water being
near that school, it means, water which is safe, the
life of the students is also safe :21
Jen truly believes a piece of Jesse lives here with
Jesse would love this
And as much as it's making a difference in the lives
of the people of this small rural village...
It's having an even greater impact on her.
you're Jesse's mom and I'm so sorry for you
be the change you wish to see in the world,
he also understands the great gift that has been given
to him and his people through the loss of someone
How life has changed for this community.
interview Jen in this pac
You saw how life changing one well is for an entire
community so today there's a lot of excitement and
anticipation back here in Bbumbu..
ground is broken..
nats of drilling
For people who have not had clean water for their
it is just 48 hours away...
The heavy machinery came from the capital city of
Kampala which again is about 2 hours away from here....
and that's where the majority of cost comes from..
In the end.
this well will cost $10,000.
Now keep in mind, this well here in Bbumbu is number
12...made possible with funds in Jesse's honor..
But what is so heart-warming.
the reason we are here today is because so many people
all the way back in the La Crosse and Tomah communities.
and many in between...have jumped on board this mission
to provide clean water around the world.
It would be a very easy thing to simply turn our heads
to the need in Africa.
It doesn't impact me.
It's not in my back yard.
And it can sometimes seem so overwhelming...
But here's the thing...when kindness and generosity
a ripple of hope begins....
nat pop water with ripple
The Tomah Rotary started a ripple...after member Mary
Jo Hill heard of the Parker's mission.
Mary Jo Hill
I felt like rotary could be a great platform for her
I contacted Jenny and said 'Maybe we should partner
Their annual 'wine to water' fundraiser has generated
more than 42,000 to date...two thousand of that going
to this latest well in Bbumbu., the rest will go towards
funding 14 future wells in Africa
Water is the life blood of the world it effects everything
I just think it is simething that touches your spirit.
Ripple nat pop
The La Crosse Downtown Rotary made a ripple of its
Hal I tell you, we are doing just phenomenal things
Through fundraisers and
the generosity its members...they've
raised more than 35 thousand dollars...sponsoring
several of the wells built so far including 2000 toward
the bumbu site.
How can you not take a young man who's killed who's
dream it was to put well into Africa it's the parkers
idea but we as rotarians have become Parkers.
We want to do this.
And we want to take it as far as we can.
Ripple nat pop
The ripple made by students in a the Western college
marketing class started as an assignment...but turned
into much more.
Immediately it touched my heart and most of the people
in my class.
The class held an event that raised $5000 dollars
for the Bbumbu well.
Matched by the Tomah and La Crosse Downtown rotaries
as well as Jesse's charity.
KELLY To do something for people that all they want
It's a feeling that you can never explain.
I'm just overwhelmed by the graciousness of people.
It is just such a pleasure - when you help help someone
else you help yourself.
I could almost cry I feel so good about it.
So If you think you can't possibly make a difference...that
the problem is just too great...
Remember how much good can come from just.
show picture of Jesse rippling?
You might not know this.
but Rotary is actually world-wide.
And there is a strong relationship between the Tomah
and La Crosse downtown Rotary clubs and the rotary
of Rubaga and Kampala right here in Uganda..
In fact..the groups are working together to dig more
get more text books for the children.
and even double the size of chicken farm at sister
salome's school among other things.
Now providing clean water is obviously the main part
of the mission here.
but the majority of these people are without the basic
things you and I would never think twice about...
show what kids are using for backpack
This is what may of the school children are using
in place of a back pack.
it's essentially garbage or whatever they can find
on the ground.
And this is just one example of how the kids here
So in addition to helping provide clean water.
the group of women who made this trip.
brought along ??of these filled with donations.
sent with love from many of you back home...
nats of holding babies
The faces of these children...
don't tell the story of the pain of their pasts....
:51 Mary Most of them were sleeping, but one little
girl was awake and I'm still getting goosebumps thinking
about this :57
This orphanage in the capital city of Kampala was
the groups' first stop with donations...
It's here where they met a little girl.
who touched their hearts...
:57 Mary She was the frailest, tiniest little thing
and they told us that she had just come in the day
before and that she ahd been left on the roadside
and still, it's hard to believe it :09
:33 Mary As soon as I held her, I could feel all of
her rib bones, like there was almost no skin there
and I just asked what her name was and they said she
didn't have a name yet :44
About 35 children call the orphanage home...
and we're told only about 1% will ever get adopted.
The group brought desperately-needed donations of
:13 Mary That orphanage struggles to have enough money
for milk, to pay the water bill, things that we just
can't fathom :20
transitionnats of handing out backpacks
Out in the rural villages...
the impact of the donations...
could been seen and felt almost immediately....
:20 African school teacher They are so happy because
they have been given items, they are very happy :26
it's just a simple toothbrush...
a book or a backpack.
but to them.
it's so much more.
:39 African student I feel very happy :41 :44 Because
you have given us bags :47
Some of the children were so excited.
they didn't waste any time transferring their books.
to their new backpacks..
:55 African student I was using a broken bag.
You were using a broken bag?.
:59 African student I feel better :00
And each of the backpacks....
nats of kids working on backpacks in Tomah
came with hand-written messages from school children
back home at Eagle Bluff Elementary in Onalaska and
Miller Elentary in Tomah...
:21 Tomah student I'm putting joy, peace, love and
:39 Tomah student They don't have the same chances
as we do and they can only use garbage to carry stuff
back and forth and it's really hard for them to find
stuff for school :51
It may not be a lesson you'll find in a textbook....
but it's a lesson these kids will carry with them
People with so much....
helping those with so little...
:15 I hope that they feel happy and grateful that
people in the world care about them and that they
know that people love them :21
And you know what.
you should never underestimate the power of moms to
change the world...
Several years ago.
a group of moms from the Tomah area got together...and
started creating these beautiful stained glass pieces...
For some it resembles a tear drop.
for others a drop of water...
They call themselve's Jesse Drops moms...
They ask for a donation of 20-dollars.
which in turn will provide one child clean water for
It's almost hard to grasp.
what just 20-dollars can do...
what the moms make has
evolved beyond just the stained-glass
At this gathering.
the drop moms are adding inpirational quotes and phrases
to rocks to be given out at an upcoming fundraiser.
Some of us are more artistic and the rest of us find
a way to fit in.
I can glue things.
Some of the other women are talented with making beaded
rocks and we come together and look pretty well.
We started out making Jesse drops and that evolved
into crosses and then from there we've made agel pins.
Today we are making rocks with expressions on thm
to thank people who've come out to the race.
We have the power to take little things we can do,
little amount of time and turn it into to something
that makes a difference in our communities or in our
these amazing women have raised 20-thousand dollars...
and they have no plans of slowing down...
HOLDING GARBAGE BALL
When we come back...what this ball of garbage is being
used for...and how Jesse's younger brother Jake is
using it to make an impact of his own.
Welcome back...Clean water is obviously going to make
a huge difference in this community.
but efforts are also underway to provide skills needed
to bring in an ongoing source of income for the people
here in Uganda.
nats of sewing maching
The hum of this sewing machine
is a sound.
many of the women in this room aren't used to...
:27 Rose It's brand new to them, they've been using
a needle and thread for many years :30
For Rose though.
it's been a long-time labor of love...
:32 Rose My mother taught me how to sew and her mother
taught her how to sew and it's absolutely wonderful
to be teaching these ladies how to sew :39
Margaret Kaseasea is one of the rural villagers who've
come to learn..
nats of sewing
She has five children...and few skills to earn any
:56 Margaret I'm a peasant farmer and it is very difficult
to raise enough money to look after my children :06
By learning this new skill set.
the women will be able to accomplish two things...
:35 Rose The girls are missing 60 days just because
they have a period, because they're unable to go to
school then so we're teaching
them how to make reuseableperi
:26 Margaret I will sew uniforms and get money.
get some money :31
they don't have the ability to sew their children's
so by learning how to use the machines...
it will hopefully lead to more opportunities...
:04 Rose Eventualy perhaps more business things so
they can bettter care for thier family, more revenue
and more skills :09
nats of chickens
One microbusiness already bringing in an ongoing source
of income is this chicken farm.
run by Sister Salome outside her school...
It opened in 2012..with money from a charity formed
in Jesse's honor in Tomah...
:06 We normally sell the eggs in Kampala, at times,
our customers come from Kamapala with their vehicles
and we load them :16
The income from the chickens is mainly used to support
Our Lady of Guadalupe secondary school....
which again is where Jesse's well was opened in 2012.
The school currently has about 250 students.
and is expected to grow to more than a thousand in
:57 Paying teachers and feeding those students is
hard without a project like this one.
But now that we have the chicken farm, some of the
profits go to help the other school to buy food for
the students, to pay teachers or to buy chalk and
other scholastic materials that help in the running
of the school :21
A little more than 3-thousand chickens are being raised
on the farm.
about half of what was here just last year.
when many died during dry season...
:52 For chickens to lay eggs, they really need a good
amount of water so we ran short of water and couldn't
give them enough to drink so most of them died :08
Now the chickesn are producing roughly 18-hundred
eggs per day.
getting their water from a newly built solar well.
that was also made possible with funds from Jesse's
:22 Now it's really doing us good, especially when
it's sunny, we get enough water :30
so whether it's the bawk of chickens...
nats of chickens
or the whir of a sewing machine....
nats of sewing
the people here are learning to improve their lives.
not only now.
but for years to come....
We're ??hours into the digging of the well.
excitement is building
insert fact/tidbit about water here.
impactful if we could find a interesting story/someone
who lost family member or who became sick because
of the dirty water
While Jen Parker is the only person in her family
making the trip this time around.
back in 2012.
they all made the journey..
and younger brother Jake.
left feeling inspired to start a mission of his own...
Jake shares Jesse's love of sports..and was qucik
to observe how something as simple as a ball can bring
nat pop Jake playing
When Jake Parker thinks about the time he spent with
big brother Jesse...one thing usually comes to mind.
As long as we had a ball or something to do we'd always
Well fun can be universal...and what was fun for Jake
and Jesse...is also fun for children in Africa.
This is what they use here.
They'd role up garbage bags and play with that.
This is all they have.
These are the best balls and we kick them at school.
And still...they smile.
They probably haven't even touched a real soccer ball
in their life and they were really good."
So as the Parkers geared up for their family trip
to Africa back in 2012, Jake decided to turn his memories
of Jesse ...into a gift.
He wanted to have some way to honor his brother and
connect with the people of Uganda.
Jake brought 15 balls along to give away, never guessing
just how well they would go over.
Jake They saw us bring the soccer balls and they
all came rushing down and we were stampeded and they
were so happy to get the soccer balls.
nat pop of kids signing
Jake has spent the last two years raising money and
support for more balls.
nat pop of balls being signed
Donations of new and used have poured in...
And to date, he's collected more than 350.
They spelled dream, 'dreem.'
And on this current trip to Africa...delivered.
nat pop of kids screaming
It's so touching.
When Jacob came here and saw the kids playing with
the garbage balls and to see that kids get so excited
for something as simple as soccer balls.
And to know that kids in WI wrote notes and they will
get to play with them for years.
It means a lot for me as a mom.
nat pop of screaming
It is just a soccer ball.
nat pop of sister throwing ball into crowd
You might have three just like it in your garage...
But look at the joy it is bringing here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.
What's touched me the most is how very, very grateful
the people are.
The children bow to us when we give them the simplist
When you meet these people, you just want to do more.
Please thank you for the good heart you have shown
us and may God bless you.
nat pop of Jake kicking ball....fade to pic with Jesse
For years...a ball brought these two brothers together....
nat pop of home video??
Now one brother is making sure that tradition lives
in honor of the brother no longer here.
It's been so awesome to see how much fun they are
it is just a ball, but to them it's so much more.
The moment the people of Bbumbu have been waiting
A lifetime without clean water is aboiut to change...
In an ideal world.
everyone would have clean water at their fingertips..but
that is just not the case.
But here now..in this one small village in Uganda,
today is a celebration of life made easier.
because one boy who dared to dream he could change
nats of drilling
The sound of large drilling machines....
breaks the otherwise peacefulness....
of the rural village of Bbumbu...
where the sound...
has attracted a crowd...
what's been promised to them...
:15 We are very excited, please because when you come
here to bring such a thing like that, we are, we are.
so grateful for that :28
Also looking on...a woman named maria.
She's lost five children to H-I-V and Aids...
Here...she's the village elder...so.
perhaps no one knows better than what clean water
:23 She says we are now going to get clean and safe
water in our area, that's why she's happy :31
But as with most things in Uganda..
they don't typically happen when you want or expect
so after several weeks of delays...
nats of dancers
have waited a lifetime for.
:21 We are most welcome for you.
We are so very happy :25
With a blessing from a priest....
nats of blessing
the ceremonial first jerry can is filled with the
nats of jerry can being filled
and a thank you to the man who gave up part of is
so the bore hole could be close to the village.
nats of thanking village man
No more walking miles every day..
nats through cornfield
through cornfields and steep terrain for this...
nats of collecting dirty water
Clean and safe water is no longer a dream...
but a reality.
:17 It's going to be easier for her, easier to come
and fetch water here
:39 We are very grateful for that
The faces of the people who've gathered here.
give a glimpse at the world the way Jesse saw it...
beauty in the smiles and laughter...
people helping people.
and hope for a better future.
This has been a labor of love for the Parkers to give
this community and so many others such an amazing
the Parker's are about to get something in return.
Tomah and Bbumbu are
two totally different communities..from
completely opposite sides of the world..
but they are coming together.
to give back and celebrate a life gone too soon.
Jesse was an avid runner.
He participated in Track and Cross Country at Tomah
But he never won a single race.
That's not what made him memorable.
It's that he was the last to leave the finish line...he
cheered for every single runner.
In fact his coaches say there was never a more enthusiastic
And so it is of no surprise that one of the ways Jesse
is being remembered involves running.
3, 2, 1...shot goes off
It brings up a lot of emotions.
You know after we heard about everything it was hard.
It was just devastating for all of us.
For Jesse's friends and coaches...this is the place
they knew him best.
We spent a lot of time at track meets hanging out.
So this is the perfect place to celebrate his life.
So there is no better place to celebrate his life..
nat pop of cheering runners...
This is the fifth year for the Jesse Parker run
An idea born from friends who wanted to turn 'their'
tears to the track.
We all thought the best way to remember Jesse would
be to do something that he loved doing - and that
For us, I think we figured it was the best way to
remember him and keep his memory alive.
So these kids went to their coaches and their teachers.
What can we do.
Let's have a race.
It was way more than I expected.
We just imagined it would be a fun run - we never
thought it would go on to help so many people.
The original goal was to make 1000 for a scholarship
and 1000 to drill the well.
We made 18,000 the first year.
Year two, 24 thousand...by year three they raised
more than 30.
We have money going to habitat for humanity, coats
for kids, food pantries, domestic abuse shelter.
Cribs and car seats.
It just goes so many areas.
And that is part of the magic?? of this event...
...So many people benefit...because so many people
are running nat pop toward a common goal.
Casey's, rotary, the lions, the churches, they all
come together and work together.
That's the neat part - people who live in this town
and never knew each other through this event have
come to know each other.
What's amazing with Jesse's race is that it's a touchstone
They people come for different reasons.
We have 50 some people who are here supporting a young
lady who is fighting cancer.
We have a group of veterans...
I think this year I counted 8 mothers who have lost
We're collecting shoes, we're collecting food...
...Everybody has some different cause that pulls them
into Jesse's story and his dreams."
And by the way...Those shoes they're collecting...nat
pop of shoe pile?? guess where they're headed?
nat pop of screaming shoes...
Into the hands...
and onto the feet...
of a very appreciative african community ready to
break them in...
nat pop of race beginning...
For a 'Jesse Parker run' of their own.
I think it just shows that 'community' is what you
choose for it to be.
So it can extend beyond the borders of your hometown.
It really can be global if you just open up your eyes
up to see that/ That's the gift that Jesse had and
he's allowing us to see that.
A simple thought of let's get this race going - has
nat of little kids in Tomah starting race
They may look different...
show black and white...
They may dress different...
show running shoes and bare feet...
They manybe on opposite sides of the world...
Leave it to Jesse...to bring them all together.
It's almost hard to describe.
It's almost like there is a spirit that's still there.
You can definitely feel him here.
If there's one thing Jesse enjoyed more than running.
it was witnessing people at their best..
Ask anyone and they will tell you.
he was an extremely compassionate young man...
And so..it only makes sense that after all the other
amazing things that have come out of his life and
a new project is underway.
Jesse's Compassion Initiative...
100-dollars will be donated to each classroom in the
middle school level down in the Tomah School District...
kids will then decide how best to give to others.
Immediately my heart just filled right up becausethat
sometimes is a barrier in the classroom kids come
up with amazing ideas on how to help each other and
we just don't have the funds to do it.
In additointo each classroom receiving money.
the inititiave will also match funds for Tomah High
School service clubs that undertake a charitable fund
Yet another example in a long list of ways Jesse's
legacy lives on.....
So many people have embraced this mission.
we couldn't name them all.
but each and everyone of them is a part of Jesse's
There are so many ways you can get involved and help
Shortly after Jese's death.