I think charity: water does some good work. One of the coolest things they do is bring you closer to the people they help with pictures, stories and videos. One of my favorite videos is this little 5-minute clip taken when charity: water was drilling wells in Ethiopia this spring as part of the Twestival.
In the video a few Internet geeks decide to carry 5-gallon jerry cans on their backs just like the people of Ethiopia do every day. Obviously carrying that water didn’t help anybody, but it made those well-off Americans understand what not having clean water really means. It made the situation personal (and painful), something Shane Claiborne often talks about (Don’t make poverty history, make poverty personal).
At the very end of the video they show an 11-year-old girl carrying the same 5 gallons of water. She does that every day. You can help change that.
That’s about all I can say after the first day of the Bald Birthday Benefit. On day one we brought in $275 of our total $600, getting us 45% of the way there. Wow. Thank you.
What are we going to do for the next 29 days? In my FAQ I jokingly said that maybe my goal was too low and we could just up it, and maybe that’s what we’ll have to do. I’m more than happy to be proven foolish. And it seems I’ll be proven bald as well.
My favorite part about all of this is that I haven’t had a chance to put any grand ideas in motion yet. I had all these big plans for a huge launch, and none of them happened. All I’ve done is spread the word and people have responded. That’s so cool. Thank you.
So here’s the deal: I’m turning 30 in 30 days and I need your help to celebrate. There are more than a billion people in this world who don’t have easy access to clean, safe drinking water. To celebrate my big 3-0, I want to give 30 people clean water.
It’s not much, a drop in the bucket so to speak. But to those 30 people it would mean life.
The nonprofit charity: water can give one person clean water for 20 years for about $20. So giving clean water to 30 people will cost $600. That’s a pretty big chunk of change, but with your help, I think we can do it.
So help me celebrate my 30th birthday by raising $600 in 30 days and giving clean water to 30 people.
During our week in Ethiopia we couldn’t help but think about water. The water that flowed from the tap would make you sick. And it did. I spent a day sidelined by it. You couldn’t brush your teeth with it, you had to be careful not to drink it while showering, you had to be careful with dishes “washed” in it.
Everywhere we went, even in Addis Ababa, we’d see these yellow containers that looked like they carried gasoline. But they were for water. When we drove to Hossana we saw even more of them. People would be walking along the road carrying them. Donkeys would be loaded down with them. Whenever the road went over a bridge or a depression where there was some source of water we’d see people crowded around a muddy, brown patch of water filling up their jugs. This was their drinking water. At least what came out of the tap in our guesthouse looked clean, even though it wasn’t.
I’ve known all along that this is what happens in places like Ethiopia. People walk miles just to get water, and the water they do get can make them sick. But seeing it is something else. Getting sick from it yourself is a different experience altogether.
And that’s why I love what charity water is doing. Tomorrow they’re going to start drilling a well in Ethiopia with money raised from Twitter. They’re call it a Twestival.