My 36th birthday is here!
It’s going to be a great natal year–I can already feel it. Perhaps it will be good luck for you, too. In this post, I’m giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.
But back to that strange birthday gift…
Much to the chagrin of my momma-san, I’ve become quite difficult to buy presents for. Some friends even think I’m impossible to find presents for. Not so. I love handwritten letters, homemade brownies, girlfriends in next-to-nothing, and–most of all–when people do something nice.
You, my dear readers, have an awesome track record of doing nice things.
For my b-day in 2010, you all raised more than $100,000 for high-need public school classrooms in the US. In 2011, you helped build libraries overseas (Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam), and last year, you helped poor youth in developing nations finish school.
In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to provide clean water to the people who need it most. I’m doing it on this page. There are fun prizes involved, so keep reading…
I recently traveled to the Tigray Region in Ethiopia with the incredible Charity: Water team. I witnessed, first-hand, what life is like for people living without clean, safe water.
Nearly 1 billion people worldwide fall into this group. For me, it’s not just a health issue. That’s not the most interesting part. If you want to offer a hand up (education, work) and not a hand out, water is highly leveraged for breaking the cycle of poverty.
In fact, every $1 invested in improved water access and sanitation can yield an average of $12 in economic returns.
In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours every year (e.g. the entire annual workforce of France!) walking for water. Women and children usually bear the burden of water collection, walking for miles to the nearest source. The solution? Installing simple water wells for clean water in strategically close locations.
Children can then spend more time in classrooms learning, and women can contribute to their communities with their minds instead of carrying jerry cans most of the day.
Clean water creates more capable problem solvers in places with persistent problems. If you want to empower people instead of doling out aid indefinitely, this is a powerful starting point.
Here’s what I’d love to ask, and where the free roundtrip ticket comes in:
1. Join my 36th birthday challenge by clicking here. It’s worth clicking through just to check out the site. Donations are tax-deductible.
2. To get your engines started, I’ve put in $3,600 of my own money.
3. If the spirit moves you, please make a $36 donation (or whatever you can: $1, $36, $1,000, etc.) to providing clean water to those who need it most. Even a $1 can make a big difference!
4. Charity: Water sends 100% of every donation directly to fund projects in the field. No “administrative fees” or anything–every penny of every dollar goes to the field. Cool, right? And because I was just in Ethiopia, they’ll be sending it there. The best part: Charity: Water will report back in 18 months with GPS coordinates, photos and information about the communities we’ve impacted.
- If you all help raise $36,000, I will personally add another $5,000.
- If you all help raise $100,000 (100% doable), I’ll add on a total of $10,000.
- The deadline is 5pm PST on Friday, August 2nd, 2013.
Sweetening the Pot…
- I’m giving away a free round-trip ticket anywhere in the world that Star Alliance flies, which is just about everywhere. There is no expiration date on the trip, so no rush on deciding where or when to go. If you like, I’ll fly you to San Francisco to have dinner with me, but other places might be more interesting :)
Here’s how to get it:
- Leave a comment below telling me what you did (Facebook, Twitter, blog post, e-mail blast, e-mail signature, encouraged employees/friends to do the same, company donation matching, etc.). Measurement of any type gets huge bonus points. This comment must be put up no later than 5pm PST on Friday, August 2nd, 2013.
- Lastly, answer one question at the very top of your comment: “What does education mean to you?” Begin your answer with “To me, education means…”
Based on comments, I’ll pick the top five promoters. Then, you’ll all vote on the winner of the round-trip.
But the best reason of all to participate…
Beyond the bribes, you’ll feel awesome about yourself for doing real good for people who have so little. People who, without water, might not have much of a future at all.
Trust me. It feels great.
Will you pause for a moment and step up, even if for $1? It would mean the world to me. I’ll share updates as I get them.
Thank you for reading this post. You are all rock stars, and I continue to write on this blog purely because of you.