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Updated Mar 13, 2013 - 3:00 am

Valley teens give up soda to help Haiti

PHOENIX — A lot of teenagers love to drink soft drinks but thousands of Valley teens are pledging that they’re going to give almost every drink in order to help others.

Ever since a 7.0 earthquare rocked Haiti in 2010, the water there has been horrible.

“They have no drinking water,” said Andrew Zonoozi, a senior at Northwest Christian School in Phoenix. “The water that they use is the water that they end up going to the bathroom in. They end up drinking it. It’s yellow and green and incredibly disgusting.”

Students at dozens of Christian schools in Arizona saw videos of what’s happening in Haiti and have decided to take action. Starting April 8, they pledge to give up drinking anything but water for one week. They will donate the money that they would have spent for soft drinks and other beverages to the Liquid Hope Project, which is raising money to build and repair groundwater wells in Haiti.

The weeklong effort will begin with 5,000 students meeting at the Grand Canyon University Arena. There, they’ll receive a Liquid Hope water bottle that they will drink from for the next week. Zonoozi said drinking only water won’t be a problem for him.

“I can go a week only drinking water if it leads to saving people’s lives. Dirty water leads to 80 percent of all sickness in Haiti.”

Some of the students will actually get to see what’s happening in Haiti first hand.

“We’re going to send students down there this summer to build these wells, and maybe even have a chance to minister to them,” Zonoozi said.

The students are hoping to raise $50,000. For more information about Liquid Hope, go to liquidhope.org.

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