This year, I’m giving my birthday up. I’m turning 23 years old, and instead of asking for gifts, I’m asking for $23 or more (or less, even just $5 because every donation counts!) from everyone I know. It’s not going to me, though. All of it is going to build freshwater wells for people in developing countries.
With the help of charity: water, one of my favorite charities, and one that I’ve been following for years, I’ve started a birthday campaign where I’m asking people to donate for my upcoming birthday on August 6, 2010. Charity:water is a non-profit bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. You can check out my charity:water page at mycharitywater.org/23forMitch.
For my 23rd Birthday
I’m asking you to donate $23
So we can raise $2300
To give 23 families clean drinking water
That’s clean water for almost 123 people!
Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk 5 miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are a billion people on the planet who don’t have clean water. It’s hard to imagine what a billion people looks like really, but one in six might be easier. One in six people in our world don’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without.
They are very real, and they need our help. They didn’t choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp. I invite you to put yourself in their shoes; imagine carrying 80 pounds of water in yellow fuel cans every day, digging with your children in sand for water, or lined up at a well waiting 8 hours for a turn.
Could you imagine what it would look like if we had to gather dirty drinking water right here in our cities in North America? It might look a little bit like this…
Now, make a decision to help. It’s not a grand solution or billion dollar scheme, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. For about $20 a person, we know how to help millions. Start by helping one.
Check out this inspiring video on how charity:water started, and how birthday campaigns came to be…
You can read more about the founder Scott Harrison and how Charity:water got started here. They recently made it to the $2 million mark but still desperately need our help to reach their goal. They supported haiti (for a 2nd time!) after the disaster that struck them. It’s a charity that Adrian Grenier (Vincent Chase, Entourage), Alyssa Milano, and many others support. They have even leveraged the power of twitter by starting Twestival in 2009, an annual fundraiser for charities hosted all over the globe, and raising $250k+ that year for drilling wells in Ethiopia.
One of my favorite qualities of Charity:water is their ability to inspire others (hell, they inspired me to do this didn’t they?), with their powerful imagery, well designed ads, and creative campaigns. For example, check out this powerful promo video featuring “Time Bomb” by Beck which has some pretty staggering facts in it.
I implore you, please donate, and better yet, give up your birthday this year, start your own charity:water campaign, I’ll be the first to donate.