The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro declared Nov. 16 as Care to Share Day to promote Orange Water and Sewer Authority's program to help residents pay their water bills.
The program was first established in 1997 when OWASA partnered with the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service to further its longstanding commitment to affordable water and wastewater services.
This year’s Care to Share Day was the fifth annual celebration of the program, during which both towns encouraged their citizens to donate to Care to Share.
Through the program, individuals can donate to OWASA, either in a lump sum or in addition to their monthly bill. The funds are then distributed to help pay the water bills of struggling families in Orange County.
Katie Hall, the public information officer for OWASA, said that, even though the program may seem simple, it is so important because of the role water plays in daily human life.
“No matter what someone's going through, they should never have to go without clean water. It's a basic human right,” she said. “It's something that makes us feel the most human, to simply have access to water that we know is healthy for us to drink.”
Hall also said Care to Share is a great program for individuals who are looking to make a direct, positive impact on their community.
“The reason that I think the program is so fantastic for folks around here who are looking for a way to give is because you're giving directly to our community, and you're giving in a way that goes directly to something so important,” she said.
Last year, the Care to Share program raised and gave out over $23,000 for direct financial assistance to nearly 150 households in the county to pay for at least one month of their water bill.