Let’s Make 28 Great Again

For the past five years, I’ve ‘donated’ my birthday to charity: waterWhy?

Because birthdays are about celebrating LIFE – and, for me, Sept. 27 is a day to reflect on what I’ve done so far and what I want to do going forward. What’s the meaning of life?!?!? and all that crap.

You know?

So, as I turn 28, I don’t need things. To be drowned in gifts is so 1999. To be drowned in drinks is so 2012. (jk that shit is forever) And SURE I wouldn’t turn down a pup. Or cake/cookies/anything that will send me to the dentist for yet another root canal.

But I digress.

When I first learned about charity: water, their concept was simple: What if every person ‘donated’ their birthday so – in our lifetime– we’d get to celebrate every person on the planet having access to clean water?

Liiiike, holy bananas. It really is that simple. I was hooked.

Below is an excerpt from the first story I’d read in relation to charity: water. I found it hard to believe that shit like this could be happening in a modern world like ours. But that’s the thing. The modern world like ours is not theirs. We live in a bubble. A bubble made with clean, soapy water that runs and runs and runs from our taps and our garden hoses and we think nothing of it. And then there are kids like Letikiros. Kids who have to give up school days to walk miles for water – dirty, unsanitary water – in the blazing heat.

Letikiros Hailu, just 13, walked four days a week for water and attended school part-time for 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.

One day in 2000, no one will ever know exactly what went through Letikiros’ mind after she collected her daily water. What is known, is that she somehow slipped and fell, smashing her clay pot full of water into small pieces. She must have watched in horror as the water spilled out on the dusty ground. More than 10 hours of walking and waiting had been undone through a simple misstep. Those who knew her well believed she must have been overcome with shame. She knew her mother and sister were at home waiting for the water. She knew they needed her water to cook dinner. And now, even the clay pot was destroyed — a valuable asset for the family. So rather than continue home down the path empty-handed, the 13-year-old slipped the rope from the pot through the branches of a tree, then around her neck and hung herself.


Okay, so, like, you totally want to do something after reading that…right? I’ve been following charity: water for yearssss now. I’ve volunteered with them. Met tons of their employees. Heck, I even tried to get a job there. I attended their gala back in 2014 and I walked the length of Manhattan that same year ON my birthday (it was damn hot that year too, my GOD) to help raise awareness. Blah blah blah, Jackie, what’s so great about charity: water anyway?

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Over the years, YOU have helped me to raise over 8k for this incredible organization. And every single freakin’ dollar has gone to the field. SO. Here we are again. Another trip around the sun, another opportunity to do some good in this world.

Here’s a link to my current campaign:

https://my.charitywater.org/jackieraps/let-s-make-28-great-again

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Thank you thank you thank you!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

‘Tis the best time of year

Saw the below pic on Insta today and thought YES! but also… “Christmas month” could be captioned so many other ways… and so my gal Kayleigh and I riffed this fun little LIST.

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  • Spooky month, mashed potato month, and peppermint month // gingerbread
  • And “Christmas cookie” month
  • And “Santa-shaped cookie” month
    –> are Santa-shaped cookies NOT Christmas cookies, Kayleigh?!
  • “tree lighting” month
  • “get fat” month
  • “I wanna ice skate!” month
  • “covered in bruises from ice skating” month
  • “mulled wine is festive but gross” month
  • “Charlie Brown” month
  • “couples holding hands and me vomming” month
  • “12 days of sexmas” month
  • “couples posting pics in front of the Christmas tree” month
  • “people giving each other meaningless candles and scarves for gifts” month
  • “another year of not being kissed under the mistletoe” month
  • “cheesy Hallmark movies that we hate but secretly love and wish we were in” month
  • “happy endings don’t exist except in massage parlors” month

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In other news, ’tis my BIRTHDAY MONTH and I’m stoked. 27 has been mad rad and 28 will be supa great. 🤘

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Two Weeks Till 25!

Two Weeks Till 25!

Ahhh! Where have my early 20s gone?! Every September post-college, I feel soooo weird not getting ready for a new school year.

What’s my schedule going to be like? Who will my professors be? Where will I live on campus? Should I go to the d-hall or make ramen for dinner? Ramen, for sure. Oh but they just opened up a Popeyes on campus! But that costs money. Soooo, ramen. And then I snap out of it and realize none of these questions are relevant anymore and it’s SO SAD.

Continue reading “Two Weeks Till 25!”