Chuck gave up his 25th birthday to raise $5,200 for clean water projects in Ethiopia.

He's a talented artist and designer in Michigan who has worked with brands like Nike, Warner Bros. and Microsoft. He leapt from high school to freelance and launched his own career by guessing email addresses for art directors and editors until someone hired him (how’s that for creative?!). He’s also done a lot of work for non-profits like Invisible Children and WordMadeFlesh. Chuck came with us to Ethiopia in June of 2010 and is an inspiration to us in more ways than one.


Most embarrassing birthday wish you've ever made? When I turned 12 I remember really hoping to get this one Simpsons CD. Like a CD with all the music from the Simpsons on it?! I was really into The Simpsons. Anyway, I got it from my parents along with a Mighty Mighty Bosstones CD. Pretty cool huh?

Which birthday do you remember looking forward to most -- and why? I remember as a kid turning 10 felt like a big deal. I remember feeling really proud to be "in double digits." In hindsight, it's probably good to revel in your single-digit years since you don't get too many of those.

Name your top three mandatory birthday treats/indulgences. Can good weather be a mandatory thing? Late May, the weather is usually great, so a really nice day out... a good dinner with my wife and some friends preferably outside somewhere... I can't think of a third one to be honest. A few really good beers, I suppose. I really am low key with my birthday come to think of it!

Which birthday would you love to re-live -- and why? My wife Holly threw me a surprise party for my 21st birthday. All my family and friends were there, and I honestly had absolutely no idea it was coming. I was totally caught off guard. I really appreciated what she went through to pull that off and get so many people that were near and dear to me there for that. It was a really memorable thing for me, and I'm someone who likes surprises... so definitely that.

Most unusual birthday gift you've ever received? When I turned 27 in 2012, I walked into my office to find this from my friend Seth who I share my studio with.

Why did you decide to do a birthday campaign for clean water? I'd met Scott Harrison a year or so earlier and learned a lot about what charity: water was all about, and frankly, just was enamored with the passion and intensity that surrounded it. As a designer, I was also really intrigued by the aesthetics and artistry of charity: water, so my natural interest in it all was piqued at this point. I had a pretty decent following in the art/design world and thought it would be a really cool purpose to use that platform for good. There are a lot of generous and passionate people in that world I knew I could get interested, and anytime someone has that opportunity, I feel like they should use it.