A Small Project, A Big Idea

When sisters Katherine and Isabelle Adams were 5 and 8 years old, they learned that millions of people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. This knowledge had a profound impact on them, and they decided they wanted to make a difference. They beganmaking handcrafted origami ornaments and exchanging them for donations on November 3, 2011 to help build a water well for a community in Ethiopia.

Their original goal was to raise at least $500. To date, with the help of volunteers and donors over $3.5M has been raise to fund over 350 water projects in 20 countries. Project countries include Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Liberia, India, Mexico, Uganda, Peru, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Honduras, Zambia, El Salvador, Nigeria and the United States.

While we effect change abroad, we are also working to create a local movement in our North Texas community. To be more precise, Paper for Water:

  •  Provides access to clean water and sanitation for the global poor worldwide;
  •  Educates others about the world water crisis;
  •  Connencts individuals locally and globally through creative art forms to transform the world;
  •  Emphasizes character building through living a meaningful and purposeful life;
  •  Equips and develops servant leaders;
  •  Empowers volunteers of all ages with the knowledge that anyone can make a difference;
  •  Encourages an entrepreneurial spirit that seeks solutions for the world’s problems;
  •  Inspires others to lead a life of generosity and service to others;

Clean Water

Saving Lives

Due to unsafe water and poor sanitation conditions in much of the developing world, millions of people live with the fact that the water they drink to survive may kill them. Diarrhea, in developing countries, can be deadly, especially to young children. There are 2.5 billion cases of diarrhea every year in children under the age of five, and deaths from diarrhea amount to 760,000 per year. It’s the second leading cause of child deaths in the world, taking the lives of more young children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

By supporting Paper for Water, you are helping us bring clean water to the global poor worldwide through the implementation of water projects in impoverished communities. Paper for Water raises money to provideclean water access for some of the world's 771 million people who lack access to clean water. Water wells and other project solutions provide safe water and improved sanitation for entire communities. This helps keep people, especially vulnerable children, healthy, happy and in school to learn and contribute to their community. In addition, our partners also stress hygiene promotiontraining in schools, churches, health facilities and communities. Sanitation is improved through the elimination of open defecation areas with the implementation of bathrooms, latrines and handwashing stations. Community engagement creates a sense of ownership and the sustainability of the project and reflect’s God’s love for all people.

Quenching a Thirst Locally

Creating Change in Our Community

Paper for Water is a grass roots movement that began in Dallas and North Texas communities. Thousands of people have been taught the art of origami, and about the world water crisis. While working to bring clean water to the developing world, we discovered that there are many people here in the United States who are also “Thirsty” — Thirsty for meaning.

We have witnessed first-hand the need and virtue of service, and that there is a dramatic change in the giver. Organizations as large as National Charity League, the Girl Scouts, BBYO and several local school clubs have turned to us to help their members do volunteer service hours. When volunteering, people often think of those they are helping, and in this selfless act of working to improve the lives of children halfway around the world, it helps them develop a compassionate way of life, less self-centered and with a sense of purpose. Co-founder, Katherine often says “When you give a lot, you get a lot back and sometimes you get more than you gave.”

We believe that absolutely everyone can make a difference. An example of this are the inmates at the Letot Center, a youth detention center, who for the first time found an opportunity to do something worthwhile for others. They experienced that their kindness to someone halfway around the world could not be repaid. These youth in detention, many classified as adults and bound for the state penitentiary, were saving lives and allowing children to go to school. It is empowering for these youths who have felt like they have reached a dead-end in their lives to make a positive difference.

Impacting Children

Learning to Give

Our young volunteers are currently educated on the world water crises; they are then equipped with the means to make a difference, We believe a world in which children feel more ownership in creating change.

Children have a strong desire to help. Too often this desire isn’t nurtured. Paper for Water encourages kids to use their talents and skills to make a difference. Paper for Water helps children learn to use their passion to act and serve to create change. Our volunteer opportunities promote public speaking, event planning, fundraising and entrepreneurship skills.

Our Impact

Paper for Water provides life changing clean water and sanitation to over 100,000 people every day through the support of our volunteers and donors.They will no longer be sick from the unclean water, and thousands of children now have time to go to school instead of hauling water all day.

Additionally we reach thousands of people every year through educational and volunteer opportunities. Annually we train thousands of people in person and virtually in the art of folding origami. A small dedicated group of youth volunteers are provided with various leadership opportunities and training.

Media highlights include being spotlighted on Nickelodeon’s HALO Effect, The Gift of Water Kleenex commercial, Martha Stewart Living Gifts that Give list, People Magazine, Good Morning America, The Good News Network, News Nation, CNN Impact your World, Texas Country Reporter, The Kelly Clarkson Show, Disney Holiday Special and the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog as a Fantasy Gift...

Sound and Responsible Financial Policies

Your Donation Supports Programming

At Paper for Water, we know the importance of sound and responsible financial policies. Since our founding, nearly 100% of funding went to programmatic operating costs, which was building water wells. We are proud of our commitment to be good stewards who are making a positive change in the world.

Support from Others


At Paper for Water, we know providing access to clean water is life changing, and that through the giving of their time and energy, the rewards to our community run deep. With your gift we are able to continue to educate people about the world water crisis, train volunteers, and deliver clean water and sanitation to the global poor. We would love the opportunity to talk more with you. If we can provide any additional information or coordinate a donation, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. Thank you for being part of the Paper for Water mission to end the world water crisis.


Paper for Water

Isabelle and Katherine Adams

The Impact

You can help us change the world! Join our goal to fund at least one well a month this year by joining our Well of the Month Club and be one of the 500 world changers donating at least $10 monthly. Without the help of our many volunteers, partners, and representatives, we would not have been able to bring clean water to thousands of communities around the world.

Join the WOTMC