Why I Give, with Karen Polk

By Corinne Everett Belch, Director of Development

Karen Polk has been a sustaining supporter of Sound Rivers  for years. She first became aware of our mission when her son Sam learned about the Neuse Riverkeeper  Foundation in his studies at Exploris Middle School. At the time, Karen was going through the process to become a Certified Environmental Educator (she is now an outreach educator for the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh) and was beginning to deepen her interest in water issues and clean water.

Karen had been thinking about the importance of clean water for a while, though – as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo in the 1980s, she got her water from a town tap a 5-10 minute walk from the house she was staying in. She says of that time, “Two girls from the family I lodged with were responsible for bringing water each day to fill up the barrel in the compound. I still had to boil and filter the water before drinking or cooking with it. Watching those girls carry water every day, trying to carry it myself (they were stronger than I was), it just made me think about water differently.” Karen came to North Carolina in 1993 by way of California, and has memories of the persistent droughts and daily water conservation efforts like flushing toilets with used shower water.

When I asked Karen about her first gift to Sound Rivers, Karen replied, “I was motivated to give because I think most people just aren’t aware of the many challenges to keeping our water healthy now and for future generations. Most people have no clue where their water comes from or where it goes once it goes down the drain. If I can help Sound Rivers to educate people and to speak up on behalf of all these people who should care, and would care if only they knew more about the issues, then it’s money well spent. I also love that Sound Rivers works with kids to both educate them about water issues and to get them on the water so that they can grow to love the rivers and the life they sustain.”

Karen continued, “By giving to Sound Rivers I am supporting a cause that I believe is going to be the most important factor for species survival: access to clean water and preservation of the rivers, sounds, and estuarine ecosystems, our natural and underappreciated water filtration and recycling systems.”

Thank you, Karen, for your monthly support – and thanks to everyone who gives to support our mission!

Want to make a monthly gift to support clean water? You can give online today – here!

Questions? Email development@soundrivers.org.