Clean Water

Meet Walk4Water Director, Gillian Kelley!

January 31, 2024

We are enjoying celebrating the members of the HHI family, and we invite you to visit the HHI blog for more staff features. With this edition, we introduce you to our Walk4Water Director, Gillian Kelley. 

Walk4Water is HHI’s major fundraising mechanism for the Clean Water Program, and Gillian’s innovative leadership has been critical to its exponential growth in the last few years.

Gillian lives in Gurley, Alabama, with her husband Jaron, and their precious son, Abel. They keep things interesting with their dogs, Tilly and Lila, six chickens, and a couple thousand honey bees!

Her first interaction with Healing Hands International was through the very program she now leads. She started a Walk4Water event at the University of Alabama while attending college there, and it has been a part of her life ever since.

Gillian practiced law for five years while still helping with and attending walks for HHI in the Gurley area, and in 2019, we made it official and welcomed her on staff.

We asked her about a favorite HHI experience, and of course, her memory takes her back to a well: “My husband (before he was my husband) and I got to travel to Haiti to see a well be installed. It struck me that the first thing the kids did when the water started flowing was to play in the water—not drinking it, but having a water fight. Kids are kids, no matter where they live. It was impactful to see that and be reminded of that, and to think about how the trajectory of the lives of those kids had been changed because of that one well.”

Walk4Water’s golden characteristic is its front porch welcome to the HHI family of programs. Gillian approaches Walk4Water as the connecting piece for American Christians who have a desire to help people internationally. “By doing something as simple as hosting or attending a walk in your local community, lives are changed around the world. We get to connect those dots for people.”

As a theme in her life, Gillian focuses on the good, in both life and faith. She references Psalm 27:13 as a calm for any wave of negativity that rolls through our world:

Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;

though war break out against me,

even then I will be confident.

“I love this reminder that God promises His goodness here, in the land of the living—not just in Heaven—but in our everyday lives. There’s always a chance to see the good, and do some good.”