If you don’t know about charity: water already, let me introduce you. The organization builds wells in developing countries – over 22,000 so far – thereby providing millions of people with access to life-saving water. Because their operational costs are completely paid for by private donors, every single dollar they raise goes directly towards funding water projects, and they pride themselves on total transparency and accountability, even providing donors with GPS coordinates so they can see where in the world each of their dollars went. Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all solution, they work with local experts to build wells that are tailored to the specific needs of the community they serve, and that are sustainable over the long-term.
All this sounds great, right?
I can spout talking points at you about exactly why this charity is so important all day long. Instead, though, I’d like to show you something.
The first time I came across this image, I felt it more than I saw it.
charity: water’s efforts to combat the water crisis – and we are in a global crisis, with 663 million people worldwide living without access to clean water – is especially close to my heart because of the devastating effect it has on women and children in particular. For children, it comes down to being uniquely vulnerable to the waterborne diseases they’re exposed to every day. But the impact of the crisis goes beyond basic health: the fact that they must find access to drinkable water effectively takes women in many developing countries out of the running when it comes to things like pursuing an education, or building a business. Statistics aren’t especially fun to read, but this is a stunning one: In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year walking to find water. And at the end of all this walking – all this time spent putting one foot ahead of the other, when they could be building their communities, caring for their families, and living their lives – what they are often bringing home to their families is water that looks like this.
There are so many worthy charities out there – so many organizations deserving of our time and money and effort – but what speaks to me about charity: water is how fundamental the need they fill is, how simple and yet utterly crucial. The need to drink comes before everything else, and clean water changes everything.
If you’d like to support charity: water, there are tons of ways you can do this – from donating $30 to provide a single person with a lifetime’s worth of clean water, to creating a birthday pledge, to organizing a fundraiser in which you promise to do something completely bizarre in order to inspire people to donate (I clearly love this idea the most).
And if you’re in the Bay Area on May 26, The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People is co-hosting an event with charity: water to celebrate the launch of the book and to support the organization. There’ll be stuff to drink, stuff to eat, and amazing women to connect with – and May 26 is my birthday, so if you come, I demand a hug :).
Thank you so much for reading this; I know this isn’t regular RG content, but I’m passionate about this project, and it’d mean the world to me to get some of you feeling passionate about it too.