Category Archives: Bald Birthday Benefit

Mohawk for Charity

I’m now rocking a mohawk and a soulpatch for charity: water. Christopher Turner had the winning ( and only) donation in my ill-advised Haircut for Charity campaign. Some folks commented that sacrificing my hair for charity is kind of played out. Probably. But it’s still fun. And we gave people some clean water.

So $100 for charity: water, clean water for more people and a new ‘do for me. Everybody wins.

My wife hates it. I kinda like it.

You can donate here to support my charity: water campaign and help build a well in Ethiopia. So far we’ve raised $1,914. You can help us get to $5,000. Thanks!

Get a Haircut, Hippie!

Mohawk & Soulpatch for Charity

Oh, and this is the first time in at least three years that I’ve had a real haircut.

Haircut for Charity: Make a Donation, Pick My Hairstyle

Make a Donation, Pick Kevin's Hairstyle
I need a haircut.

So here’s the situation:

  1. I need a haircut.
  2. My wife is going out of town.
  3. I need to raise $3,186 more to build a well in Ethiopia.

So here’s the plan:

  1. Pick a hairstyle. (Feel free to use this handy PDF or JPG to draw your own.)
  2. Make a donation to my charity: water campaign.
  3. Biggest donation wins. I’ll rock your selected hairstyle until my wife returns.

It’s pretty simple. A haircut for clean water, and you get to pick the style (or lack thereof). Have fun, be stupid and give generously. Remember you can always support the well simply by buying a copy of my book. I’m only doing this because my wife will be out of town and I can get away with it. Plus I need a haircut and I’d rather see some good come out of that, like clean water. All in good, clean fun.

Bald Kevin: A blank canvas for you to work with.
Draw your own hairstyle!

To Enter:

  • Make a donation to my charity: water campaign by 1 p.m. CT on Friday, July 23.
  • Note in the comments of the donation what hairstyle you’d like me to rock.
  • Send me your proposed hairstyle and I’ll post them here (post the image somewhere and send me a link or e-mail the image to me).


Make a Donation, Pick Kevin's Hairstyle
Plenty to work with.
  • Facial hair is in play. Eyebrows are not. No razor blades (i.e., I’ll cut it clippers short, but I’m not shaving it with a razor short—wife vetoed that).
  • Donations must be made between Monday, July 19 and Friday, July 23 at 1 p.m. Central Time.
  • I’ll get the haircut on Friday afternoon/evening and it will last until Monday, July 26.
  • It has to be a haircut a barber shop can actually do simply by cutting my hair (no extensions, no dye jobs, nothing the fine people at Great Clips can’t manage).
  • I promise to conduct business as usual with the winning haircut (i.e., no hiding out at home). I’m thinking about hitting up the Middle Eastern Festival (camel rides!) on Friday, the Red Bull Flugtag on Saturday and I will attend church on Sunday (I’d pitch sporting the winning ‘do at work, but the whole work-at-home thing makes that kind of boring).
  • Nothing inappropriate can be shaved into my head.
  • I reserve the right to donate myself and trump lame-o entries (i.e., if the winning donation turns out to be a paltry $20 for a mullet, I’ll donate $25 myself and pick something better). In a nutshell, if I’m going to look like an idiot in public for three days, it has to be worth it. So if you want me to look  like an idiot, better donate more than I likely would.

Let’s build that well in Ethiopia! Thanks.

Let’s Build a Well in Ethiopia

A year ago today we were in the midst of the Bald Birthday Benefit. We’d already shattered the $600 goal and my baldness was imminent. You pushed on and raised $2,605 for charity: water, giving clean water to 130 people for my 30th birthday. I’m still in awe and incredibly grateful for that.

This year I’ve released my book, Addition by Adoption, and a portion of the proceeds go to charity: water to build a well in Ethiopia. That’s a goal of $5,000. It’s a big goal. So far almost $1,000 has come in, most of it from donations.

I thought about doing the Bald Birthday Benefit again this year, but I’m not sure shaving my head is such a big draw anymore. But I still love celebrating my birthday by giving back.

So here’s the deal: My birthday is in 10 days. Father’s Day is in 15 days. All I really want is a well in Ethiopia. Help me get there.

There a number of ways you can donate, from straight cash to buying a copy of my book. We’ve set up a few special options with the book where more money can go to charity: water, from an Awesome Edition to a 10-copy package. I’m also willing to give you a free digital copy of the book for making a donation. And yes, if somebody wants to see me shave my head again, I’m willing to do it (for a price).

More than buying a book or giving some cash, you’re giving life. 70-80% of Ethiopians don’t have access to clean water. It ends up killing 300,000 Ethiopian children every year. It’s the number one cause of infant mortality.

So help me celebrate my birthday, let’s celebrate Father’s Day—heck, we can celebrate Flag Day too!—by building a well in Ethiopia. Give water. Give life. Thank you.

Bald Birthday Benefit Thank You

After 30 days the 2009 Bald Birthday Benefit came to an end yesterday with the shaving of my head. You helped me celebrate my 30th birthday by giving clean water to 130 people. Wow. That’s 4.5 times the original goal. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you hardly begins to cover it. To the 57 people who donated, to everyone who spread the word, to those who helped with the videos and publicity, and to those who will continue to act, pray and give to those who lack clean water, thank you.

The joyous pictures below represent the changed and saved lives that you’ve made possible. 130 times over. Words are hardly fit to express the gratitude, but thank you.

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My donation widget is gone, but if you’d still like to donate you can give directly to charity: water. (All pictures are from charity: water and their amazing photographers. You can check out their photo of the day on Twitter for more great images of lives changed through clean water.)

Walk for Water Video

On Sunday I carried five gallons of Mississippi River water (weighing 40 pounds) two miles from the river to my house. All to bring awareness and support to the one billion people throughout the world who don’t have access to clean water.

Here’s the video:

Do Something
Water=life. If you’d like to do something, you can:

  • Donate. ($20 provides clean water to one person for 20 years, but donate whatever you like. Every bit helps. Donate now.
  • Pray. If that’s your thing you can say a prayer for the one billion people who don’t have access to clean water. Pray that the 4,500 children who will die today because they lack clean water wouldn’t have to.
  • Act. You don’t have to carry water or shave your head, but you can do something. Tell your friends about this issue. Support the Water for the World Act. Cut back on your own water usage (no, it won’t directly help those without water, but it’s an act of solidarity).

More information: charity: water | Pioneer Press article | Day after thoughts | Why I did it | Photos

Big thanks to Jake Nyberg at Three Volts for the editing, as well as the other folks who helped out and the many who have donated. Thank you.

It’s Fairly Strenuous

Up the RiverbankYesterday’s walk to the river was indeed “fairly strenuous.” I’m definitely feeling it today.

I know the two miles I walked yesterday carrying five gallons of water (weighing in at 40 pounds) doesn’t directly accomplish much of anything. When it stops raining and dries out a little bit I’ll just end up dumping that Mississippi River water out on my lawn, maybe use it water my hostas. I’m certainly no hero for doing it. More than anything it’s a good reminder that I need more exercise.

But what I love about it is the feeling of solidarity I get when I see pictures like this or this or this. Now I’ve felt what they go through. I have a tiny taste of what that must be like. It shifts your perspective and puts the whole thing in a whole new light. Knowing what they go through is one thing. Experiencing it is another. And hopefully that experience results in action on their behalf.

In a few days hopefully we’ll have the video up and you can get a better handle for that experience as I huff and puff my way up the river bluff.

Perspective on Water

As I’ve been talking about water all month I realize that it’s hard to grasp some of the numbers. So let’s get a little perspective. One billion people in this world lack access to clean water.

  • That’s 1 in 6 people.
  • That’s 5 times the number of active users on Facebook (currently at 200 million).
  • That’s 33 times the number of Twitter users (currently at 30 million).
  • That’s more than 3 times the total population of the United States.

Another number I’ve been throwing around is that this lack of access to clean water kills 42,000 people every week (90% of them children). That’s roughly 2.2 million people every year dying from dirty water.

  • That’s more people than HIV/AIDS kills every year (2.04 million, so it’s pretty close).
  • That’s way more people than die in traffic accidents every year (1.27 million).
  • That’s more than the total population of New Mexico (or 15 other states, take your pick).

Just a little perspective for your Monday. You can donate now to help—it only takes $20 to give one person clean water for 20 years.

Walk for Water in the Pioneer Press

The Pioneer Press did a quick write-up on my Walk for Water stunt in today’s paper. Charity: water gets a nice mention and link, as does the Bald Birthday Benefit (now we can see what kind of bottom-line boost newspaper publicity offers). The article also mentions that we hit the $600-goal in only six days—so hats off to all you folks who helped us get there and those who have kept us going towards that crazy $5,000-goal.

Not a bad story, though I think I’ll win an award for dumbest quote of the year:

Lugging 40 pounds of water “will actually be fairly strenuous,” he said.

Actually? Fairly strenuous? Who is this idiot? Carrying 40 pounds of water two miles up the Mississippi River bluff is going to suck. It shouldn’t be impossible, but for a mostly sedentary guy like myself it won’t be a walk in the park. Guess I need to work on saying something quotable.

Moving on. As a bit of fact-checking nit-pickery, I’ll be carrying the 40 pounds of water two miles, not one mile as the article states. It’s two miles from the Mississippi River to my house. But I understand the confusion. I threw out a lot of information in the 15-minute call I had with the reporter. And I’m complicating things myself because I’m planning to drive down to the river and then walk back with the water. I realize it’s cheating a bit, but accuracy isn’t the goal here. Besides, I’d like to minimize the time and effort required of the folks going with me.

Anyway, it’s pretty cool to get some publicity like this. I hope it leads to more clean water for more people. Remember, it takes only $20 to provide one person with clean water for 20 years. Wish me a happy birthday and donate now. Thanks.

Bald Birthday Benefit Bash: June 13, 2009

Celebrate the end of the Bald Birthday Benefit by eating tasty tacos and watching Kevin shave his head! This really only appeals to the Twin Citizens in the audience, but on Saturday, June 13 we’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday by shaving my head.

The plan is to eat at Dora’s Mexican Restaurant (formerly Los Cabos, which is still the name on the sign) at 360 Bernard in West St. Paul at 5 p.m. on June 13. Afterward we’ll head over to my place for the head shaving. You’re on your own for supper at Dora’s, but we’ll have snacks and such at my place.

Give me a holler if you plan to make it. No gifts allowed unless they’re donations to charity: water.