charity: water. progress
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- London to New York
My mother was right again. She normally is actually, this time guessing I'd manage to get another newsletter off on the plane back to NY. I'm returning from a few weeks in Europe, where I had opportunity to lecture and set up a London committee. Here's an update on things.
MONEY FOR WELLS. We're a bit taken aback really, at how much we've been able to accomplish in less than 6 months and are extremely excited for the future. With your help, we've been able to raise more than $500,000. We have already finished 6 wells serving 30,000 in Bobi, Uganda. Next week, we'll start granting money to our four partners on the ground in Africa to build and rehabilitate another 65! Thousands of people in Malawi, Uganda, Central African Republic and Ethiopia will drink clean and safe water for the first time. Thousands of kids will enjoy better health and have an opportunity to attend school. There's really nothing else we'd rather do. Except more.
Over $100,000 of the donations came online, something that makes people's mouths drop when I tell them, but that's partly thanks to friends like DAILY CANDY and FLAVORPILL, whose readers bought the $20 virtual charity: water bottles and donated to the various well projects. We're still busy building and conceiving the new website which we hope will lead the way for online non-profit accountability in years to come. Web 2.0 for non-profits we hope. If you're a developer and want to help, please write us.
PROOF - In the coming months, expect us to begin proving the wells you've helped us fund. Additionally, we're always looking for volunteer photographers and videographers to fly to Africa for us. If you know someone who's perfect for a field team, please let them know about our project.
LONDON 2007. So we're very grateful that an amazing group of 15 young professionals have stepped up, volunteering their time to bring charity: water across the pond in a big way. We plan to launch the initiative in late summer of 2007, with large outdoor and indoor exhibitions and an education program that mobilizes and empowers students to play their part in the global water crisis.
We'll also broaden the scope of the charity: water placements and sales, looking to incorporate hotels, theaters, department stores, boutiques, bars, restaurants, clubs, spas and salons, even ice skating rinks and yoga studios who want to do something about the billion without access to clean water.
You can see a picture of our London team or get involved here: /london
LONDON - STORY. As I was leaving for the airport, I went to share the work with some new friends in Notting Hill Gate and ask for their support. After I showed some of my images, their 11-year-old son went to his room and brought 200 pounds down, placing his savings on the table. That bodes well I think, our first major donor, an 11-year-old with $392 who wants to help kids his age in Africa drink clean water and go to school. I can't think of a better way to start the push.
CHARITY:WATER BOTTLE v2.0 - Good news for those of you who care about our environment. charity: water is switching to environment-friendly corn starch bottles in the USA. We didn't feel too guilty selling plastic bottles of water at $20 where every penny went to help people get clean water in Africa, but after finally finding a solution, we're making the switch.
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL - The water exhibition that many of you saw last month on the walls of the Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC is on its way to Utah thanks to Lani and a couple volunteers. Manhattan Mini Storage was kind enough to donate a truck with unlimited mileage so we can take the more than $25k of images donated by Graphic Systems and 80 cases of water to the festival. The team at Project GreenHouse has donated their prime gallery space on Main Street and will be hosting us for 4 days, January 23 - 26. We're still looking for volunteers. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or friends live near Park City. I'll be out there from Wednesday on.
VOLUNTEERS - Our volunteer base is growing. If you're one of the hundreds who signed up recently on the website, you'll hear from us in February where we hope to have a town hall type meeting and plug you into various roles to move our projects forward. If you're interested in giving your time, email us at email@example.com - tell us a little about what you do, and your availibility.
DONATE - $500k and 71 wells is only the tip of the iceberg. 1.1. Billion people on the planet don't have access to clean water. That's one in six of us. If you'd like to donate to the well projects, or to our educational and awareness efforts, please give online at http://www.charityis.org or mail checks to
511 6th ave, #196
NY, NY 10011
It's a honor to serve the poor with you all.
POSTSCRIPT. Some of you may remember in my last email from Ethiopia, I wrote about finding patients there with cleft lips and arranging for their surgeries. There were 5 patients who received surgery, and photos have just come back of the first two, Sulfiso and Tariku. Really exciting.
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