People have the power to make a difference, Lauter says

People have the power to make a difference, Lauter says

Sister Larraine Lauter, executive director of Water With Blessings, told those attending the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Rooster Booster Breakfast on Thursday on the Kentucky Legend Pier that they have the power to make a difference in the community.

“You will feel the difference because you will be the difference,” she said.

The breakfast moved outdoors to try to keep people safe from the growing number of coronavirus cases in the community.

The first 10 years of Lauter’s ministry focused on teaching at Cathedral School in Owensboro and Trinity High School in Whitesville.

Then, she served as pastoral associate, music director and liturgist for the Catholic communities of St. Columba in Lewisport and Precious Blood in Owensboro.

In 2002, Lauter started Migrant Immigrant Shelter and Support, offering housing and support to migrant farm workers in Owensboro.

After moving to Louisville in 2007, she led the Hispanic ministry at St. Bartholomew’s and the Church of the Epiphany, where she also served as minister for social responsibility until she agreed to lead Water With Blessings in 2011.

Lauter, Arnold LeMay and Jim Burris started the water program in 2008, equipping Honduran mothers with water filters to share with the community.

Today, the program has trained approximately 115,000 “Water Women” in 48 countries.

“Water Women” are mothers who filter clean water for their families and neighbors.

Lauter said that “dirty water kills more children than other other cause.”

There are children, she said, who have “never had a drink of clean water in their lives.”

Her website says 10,000 children die each day from drinking dirty water.

Lauter told the crowd about Bill McGraw, founder of Quality Home Products of Texas, who agreed to provide a filtration system to a family in need for every home filtration system his company sold.

“Making a difference seems to be hard-wired into our DNA,” Lauter said.

The Rev. Larry Hostetter, president of Brescia University, which sponsored the breakfast, presented Lauter with a check raised by at the school for her work in Haiti.

So far in 2021, Water With Blessings’ website says 6,295 “Water Women” have been trained in Haiti, 5,660 in Honduras, 87 in Kenya, 118 in the Philippines, 145 in Zambia and 150 in Bolivia.

By: Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer