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Sowing seeds of hope

Newsoms' foundation assists countries in need
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Clean drinking water is a necessity that most Americans take for granted. Imagine living in a third-world country, without access to clean drinking water. Many people in poor countries are forced to tote water from nearby villages. The people suffer and die from illnesses related to contaminated water. Jon and Brenda Newsom own Newsom Industries in Newcastle, a company that sells and services new and used drilling rigs of all types, including water well, environmental, geotechnical, geothermal, oil and gas, and mining machines. In 2005, the couple started Clean Water Saves Lives, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping provide clean drinking water in third-world countries. They assist with shallow well-water projects, sanitation training, driller training and the donation of some drilling supplies. “It’s something I wanted to do for years,” Newsom said of starting the foundation. “I hope to retire and do this full time.” Newsom said he purchases or accepts donated equipment, rebuilds it, and donates it to “other charities that are helping to provide clean water to those that need it the most.” The Newsoms have donated refurbished drilling rigs to Seeds of Hope International Part-ners for shipping to Africa. Newsom said the organization works hands-on with Zambian nationals, training them to improve their personal and community life, and in turn, they teach others a much-needed trade. He said those trades include well drilling, pump installation and repair, personal and community sanitation and hygiene, building water bio-sand filtration systems, modern farming techniques, sewing, HIV/AIDS education and nutrition. The Newsoms were able to meet pastor Kirk Schauer, who is the founder and director of Seeds of Hope. Schauer and his family spend about nine months each year in Africa. Newsom’s foundation gave Seeds of Hope two small, water well-drilling rigs, a compres-sor, a portable Hobart welder, and other drilling related items that will be used to dig wells. “This is an amazing gift. It will help us to bring clean drinking water to 500,000 Africans over the next few years,” Schauer said. According to Schauer, many children in poor villages are unable to attend school because they must trek to far to get clean water, and the water they get may still be tainted with contaminants that cause cholera, giardia and dysentery. “There is so much infant mortality. The diarrhea and dehydration stunt the growth of many children,” he said. Newsom said Seeds of Hope must raise $15,000 to ship a 40-foot cargo container to Africa. Schauer said they will need two containers for the donated rigs and equipment. He expects the first container to ship in March and the other as soon as funds are available. “Besides the well drilling and pump work, they plan to begin teaching three new classes when they return; sewing, gardening, and computer literacy,” Newsom said. Newsom said the charity is still in need of donations of working sewing machines, bolts of fab-ric, thread, a working computer and gardening tools. Another charity Newsom’s foundation is working with is Agua Ministries. The group sends volunteers to Mexico to drill wells for poor villages. Jon Newsom has been involved in the drilling industry for more than 45 years and he and his wife have operated Newsom Industries for 25 years. Brenda Newsom is the former executive director of the Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce. -------------------------- CLEAN WATER SAVES LIVES What: Provides machinery and support for clean drinking water in third-world countries How to help: Donations needed to pay for shipping Contact: Jon Newsom at (916) 768-4790