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NFL player helps Suffolk family get running water after a year without it

'1.5 million people around the country don't have access to clean water,' said former NFL player Chris Long.

SUFFOLK, Va. — Running water is a necessity in any home. But, a family of seven in Suffolk hasn't had it for over a year.

“It took us through a lot of ups and downs,” said homeowner Wayne Crawford.

The Crawfords bought a fixer-upper on a tight budget. They wanted to give their kids a home, but then their water well failed.

"We were using [bottles of] spring water to wash up,” said homeowner Belinda Crawford. “We would pray for rain."

The couple was desperate for a cost-effective solution, with baby number six on the way.

"We did everything possible,” Wayne said. “We were going to neighbors asking if we could turn into their well. Unfortunately, social services came knocking on our door."

They searched for a solution for months. The couple even had to sell their car to pay for more time at a hotel.

Finally, an application to the Well Water Trust connected them with several water organizations. Former NFL player Chris Long's foundation, Hometown H20, was one of them.

“I couldn't stop crying,” Wayne said. “I couldn't believe it at first."

Hometown H20, Xylem Water Solutions, and Water Well Trust partnered with multiple companies. They hooked the Crawfords up with a new water well on Wednesday.

“1.5 million people around the country don't have access to clean water,” Long said.

He added that the issue exists right under our noses. "You see these folks at the grocery store, kids at school."

Through the ups and downs, Wayne Crawford never lets his family forget the three P's: "Prayer, perseverance, and Patience got us through.".

The couple said the teams who put in the new well in their backyard are like family now, and the struggle was well worth it.

The organizations are also helping the family fix up their house.