Why I Donate My Birthday to charity: water Each Year

Because 1 in 10 people lack access to clean water. 

Because 13-year-old Letikiros Hailu hung herself after the clay pot in which she carried water home after a six-hour RT walk broke…and she couldn’t bear the thought of showing up to her family empty-handed. 

Because I’m inspired by 9-year-old Rachel Beckwith’s story:

Because I attended the annual charity: water gala in 2014 and was awed by the passion of their employees, volunteers, and supporters. 

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Because clean water is something so many of us take for granted. The water in our toilets is cleaner than the water that many folks TREK for daily…kids even miss school just to walk miles to retrieve dirty water for their families. 

Because I can afford to.

Because I have everything I need.

Because we should use celebrations to give back to those in need.

We should draw attention to things that really matter.

Material things DO NOT MATTER.

Skipping your $5 latte one day WILL NOT KILL YOU.

HELP ME HELP THE WORLD!

Click the link above to donate to my 27th birthday campaign for charity: water! I’ve raised over $7300 over the years and I’m looking to make it to $10,000 by the end of this year! Together, we can make sure everyone has easy access to safe, clean water.

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Clean Water: A Review

Clean Water: A Review

As I write this post, I’m drinking clean, cold water which came from a filtered water machine in my office. I simply walked over, pushed a button and whooosh — clean water with basically zero effort on my part. As I write this post, 633 million people don’t have clean water. Think about how often you use water, besides to drink. We shower, clean and cook with it. We have sprinklers to literally run through it. We have water balloon fights! And we don’t think twice about how we’re going to access the water we need.

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And then there are girls like Letikiros. When I read her story, I couldn’t believe how out of touch I was. Why wasn’t her story on the news? Why is the water crisis seemingly less important than Justin Bieber’s latest mugshot? Out of sight, out of mind, right? This crisis isn’t happening in our backyard, so what does it matter?

BREAKING NEWS: It matters. A LOT. Any one of us could have just as easily been born into a situation where we needed to spend hours of the day trudging along in the heat, carrying clay pots, all to get to a water supply where the water was sketchy at best.

She walked four days a week for water, and attended school part-time the other three days. Since there was no school in Meda then, reaching the classroom in a neighboring village was another 6 hour round trip walk. In order for Letikiros to be able to attend school at all, her mother would pay to rent a donkey each week which could carry four pots of water on a single trip from the Bembya River. But there simply wasn’t enough money to relieve Letikiros of her water duty altogether, and she quickly fell behind. By the age of 13, she had only completed the third grade.

Can you imagine not being able to attend school full time because you needed to allocate days to retrieve water for your family? No child should have to do that.

Last year, I started a campaign for my 23rd birthday to raise $2300 for charity: water. I became familiar with the charity through online research and have been a champion of theirs since.

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Through this campaign, I ended up raising nearly $2500; Enough to provide clean water to 70 people. I was also invited to charity: water’s annual gala in NYC where I met so many inspiring folks and generous philanthropists who are just as passionate about the cause as I am.

It’s officially my birthday month again and I’m running another campaign (to which I’ve already donated because I don’t believe in asking others to donate to a cause that I wouldn’t donate to myself). I’m turning 24 on September 27 and my goal is to raise $2400. You can find my campaign page here.

I know it’s September and you’re itching for that pumpkin spice latte, but isn’t it worth the lives of others to give that up for a day and put the money towards something truly life-changing for someone else? You can learn more about the water crisis here.

Help me help the world and let’s spread some smiles!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie