Vikki Heath was inspired to create HydrateForACause after an incident during Grambling’s 2017 Homecoming.
“I was aggressively approached by an older male during my bicycle ride through Main Street,” Heath, a Business Management major from Shreveport, La., said. “My phone was held chest level and the man thought I was recording the festivities. He shouted, ‘hey it’s the white girl from Get Out! She is recording us!’ Automatically, attention entirely on me, the only white girl in public at the time. The male approached me and noticed my black girlfriend was on FaceTime with me, then so happened he wanted to be my friend.”
Heath said she was not upset about the incident but felt more “distraught”.
“I enjoy playing all sports, facilitating free sports camps with Nike and non-profit organizations, and writing poems and songs about my personal life,” Heath said. “Not once during the controversy was I mad, more distraught because I suddenly received a small percentage how black people feel in America on a daily basis. The whole weekend the incident played in my head.
“After church that Sunday is where HydateForACause started. I passed out water on The Yard with the mission to ‘Hydrate Your Soul.’ I knew lots of partying occurred that weekend, so I wanted to make sure everyone was hydrated before getting on the road again.
“October 29, 2017 was my first community service date. I decided to take my community involvement more serious April 1, 2018 by committing once a week passing out free water.”
HydrateForACause is an organization that brings the community together by passing out free water.
It soon will be a registered non-profit and will receive large donations from corporations and grants from our government. Coca Cola sponsors Grambling and will soon be sponsoring “Water Day” once a week.
“I started this project alone but now local businesses, friends and family have committed volunteering with me,” Heath said. “It is important students stay hydrated to ensure energy, healthier metabolism, and keeps away body odors throughout their long days.”
Taryne Standifer is Grambling’s Business Services Coordinator, who will contact business distributors to contribute water donations.
“My vision for Water Day is to bring all ethnicities, ages, genders together from our one source we all have in common, water,” Heath said. “As soon as we hear back from Coca Cola and other businesses we will ask for volunteers to participate in Water Day.” Hydrating goes beyond its literal since, It’s good for our well being and important to hydrate your soul.”