Gave Up Diet Coke and Raised $5,390 for a Well in Sierra Leone,Africa!

Submitted by: Jane Birr

Jane Birr's Success Story

Great news! A huge personal goal has been reached. The drinking well for the poor has been purchased! What would have taken me 3.7 years to do on my own by giving up Diet Coke and Cousins subs took only five months thanks to all your prayers, generous sacrifices and support. Now a community of 150 people in Sierra Leone will have a well providing them with 600 gallons of safe water each day. What a great trade-off!

Here are three things I learned along the way:

1. My initial prayer was “God, I want to know you more deeply.” Well, that sure happened! I saw God in the touching way friends, family and complete strangers rallied around this project. It showed me that I can focus on and get drained by the bad news such as the economy, fires, murders, or the fear of being hit by a melting polar ice cap or redirect and get energized by the good in people and how generous they are in helping those in need. They were like God with skin on to me. Very uplifting.

2. I learned that I can turn the tables and beat the habit that had the strongest grip on me. That feels powerful! I honestly did not know how I could go one day with a diet coke. The pull was that strong. But I committed to myself, God and to you that I would not have another diet coke until I raised the money for the well. All $5,390 of it. Many days waves and waves of temptation would hit very hard. I wanted to quit. But great advice pulled me through. My friend Kari challenged me on day one to keep a Diet Coke front and center on my kitchen counter. She said to look it right in the face instead of cowering and melting from it and say “Ha! I am better than you and stronger that you.” That strategy changed me. It allowed me to see this as a tough competition that I could win! I learned to love the game. Wave after wave hit and I stayed true to my word 100% of the time. Boy, did that feel good. So much better than anything could taste. I won and so did the community that will receive the well!

3. I learned that now my pants are looser, PMS went from raging to insignificant, and my cholesterol dropped 38 points from 220 to 182. I also know that I am vulnerable to slip back to my old ways and need to start another commitment after a very short break. My eyes have been opened to appreciate my many blessings and help those in need versus being so self-focused. My gosh, how can I even whine about not having a precious soda when there are kids out there who are literally dying for a glass of water.

So raise your water glass! We did it! I encourage you jump in and experience all the pain, challenge, fun and many benefits that I have experienced with a game of your own. Know that you can look whatever has a hold on you in the eye and in God’s strength, and with your daily tough choices and the support of family and friends come out on top.

Jane Birr
Life Coach
Motivating and Inspiring Great Health in Body, Mind and Spirit

Check out Jane's book, "Just Get it Over With. A 12-Week Jumpstart to Great Health in Body, Mind and Spirit" at


Jane Birr After