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. 


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.


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

9 Awful Statistics (That We Can Change)

9 Awful Statistics (That We Can Change)

The world’s problems can seem too huge and daunting to fix, but the good news is that we can all make a difference with even the smallest of actions. Educate yourself and others on the facts and from there, anything is possible. Let’s be more mindful and help to make this world a more wonderful place!

  • Nearly 800 million people don’t have access to clean water. Did you take a shower this morning? Keep the tap running as you brushed your teeth? Boil some water for your ramen noodles? Water is absolutely essential and the folks at charity: water aim to eradicate the water crisis with each clean water well they build. Help them help the world by donating now! And guess what? 100 percent of your donation goes straight to the field. http://www.charitywater.org/
  • Approximately 2.7 million healthy cats and dogs are euthanized each year because shelters are too full. Remember that time you went to a party but it was too crowded so somebody stuck a needle in your arm and you died? No? Right. Pups and kittens are great, but folks need to be open to adopting the seniors and mutts too. Adopt, don’t shop people. And spay and neuter those frisky critters! Best Friends is a no-kill non profit and your donation helps fuel their programs around the country. http://bestfriends.org/donate
  • With nearly 19,000 deaths this year, the US is set to have its deadliest traffic year since 2007 according to the National Safety Council. Let me repeat that. Nineteen THOUSAND people have already died this year in traffic accidents. You know that cool Snapchat filter which tracks MPH? If you’re driving, you sure as hell should not be using it. Traffic deaths happen due to a variety of reasons, but for the love of your life and everyone else’s please leave the phone alone. Learn more here: http://www.nsc.org/learn
  • Less than 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled each year, according to the Clean Air Council. But when I throw bags in the trash, they just disappear and I don’t have to deal with them again so who cares, right? Well I’m pretty sure all of the turtles, dolphins and whales of the world, who choke on these bags, would beg to differ. Ban the bag! Find your state legislator and spread the word. http://www.ncsl.org/
  • We live in a world where more people have cellphones than toilets. Are you currently sitting on a toilet as you read this on your mobile device? Yeah… Let’s support Unicef in their efforts to prevent open defecation so that everyone may safely pee, poop and pinterest in peace. http://support.unicef.org/
  • Nine percent of the homeless population is made up of veterans. Homelessness is a huge problem in general, but the fact that those who fought for our continued freedom and rights are now without shelter is not OK. These folks suffer not only from physical wounds, but emotional distress too. Veteran’s Day is coming up; let’s support all of them. http://veteransmatter.org/donate/
  • Nations like the US and UK waste 1.5 trillion pounds of food each year. I don’t even know how to put that number into perspective for you, but I think we can all agree that it’s way too much. From oversized portions and sneaky sell by dates, to forgetfulness and bias against bruised fruit and veggies, it’s easy to waste food these days. Food waste harms our climate, culture and biodiversity. Lettuce be better about this. http://www.endfoodwastenow.org/
  • Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Remember how I just told you about all the food we waste? From bruised apples to dented cans of food, we throw so much away while folks are literally starving. Skip the la-dee-dah latte you don’t need this morning and help save a life. I bet you’ll feel even more energized. http://www.stophungernow.org/
  • More than 1 million American youth end up in juvenile court each year. These are the folks of the future who we need to build up, support and educate. Support those in your community and join Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to help kids become the leaders we can all rally behind. http://www.bbbs.org/

Spread kindness and cheer, xo

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.


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