Cornell couple chooses water project over wedding registry

When Jenah Vandersall ’16 and Tyler Riggs ’16 got engaged, they decided to forego a traditional wedding registry. Instead, they’re asking family and friends to help them fund a water project in Africa.

Tyler Riggs ’16 and Jenah Vandersall ’16
Tyler Riggs ’16 and Jenah Vandersall ’16

“Growing up, my family didn’t always have the most money, and as surprising as it might be, I’m really thankful for that,” Vandersall said. “Even though it was difficult at times, it has taught me to be a hard worker and to trust Jesus to provide what is needed. Just having a roof over our heads, running water, and clothes on our bodies puts us in the top 2 percent of the world in wealth.”

Vandersall and Riggs have established a fundraising webpage with a $12,000 goal. Gifts will be used to construct or rehabilitate a water project in Kenya, Uganda, or Sierra Leone.

“There are so many things that we take for granted every day. Not only do we have water accessible to us whenever we need it, but we have clean water,” said Vandersall. “I would be absolutely thrilled if we raised enough money to fund the entire project. But I know that however much is raised is going to help just as much.”