I was recently at a conference hosted in a hotel at the LAX airport. There were roughly 500 people in attendance. At one point, people were taking too long to get back to their seats, so the host of the conference got everyone in the room to agree to paying $20 if we were late in returning to our seats following a break. Sounds harsh, but it was done with an interesting twist. All the money would be donated to Charity: Water. By the end of the two day conference, almost $5000 was raised for Charity: Water, which either says 500 adults are really bad at following directions or that it’s not so bad to be penalized when the result is a positive for someone else.
I don’t normally post about causes because I’d rather do something than talk about it, but I think Charity: Water is one of many causes that deserves more attention. The non-profit raises money to build wells in places where there is no clean water. Many of these places currently have only one source of water – a polluted river filled with toxic chemicals that make their kids horribly sick and kill local residents by the hundreds every year. Clean water is largely something I take for granted, if I’m not getting it from the tap at home, I can purchase bottles at the store. There are places in the world where that store simply doesn’t exist. For a $20 donation, you effectively buy 20 years of clean drinking water for one person. Approximately $5k builds a well for a village of people.
Coming up next week on February 12, 2009, something called Twestival is happening all over the world to raise awareness and money for Charity: Water. You don’t have to go anywhere to participate, you can simply donate from the comfort of your desk. iJustine does a great job of summing it up in this video: