Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Charity Water Is A Hip Good Will Pick

charity: water
The story of Rachel Beckwith might have made the media rounds two years ago, but it is no less heartbreaking or inspirational. She is a 9-year-old girl who left a legacy on charity: water.

Originally she raised $220 by asking people to make donations in lieu of buying birthday presents (just short of her $300 goal). But after her family was involved in a 14-vehicle traffic accident that caused what would be fatal injuries to Beckwith, an outpouring of support catapulted her campaign page to exceed $1.2 million.

Her decision to raise funds for charity: water was inspired by her church, but it wasn't the first time she wanted to contribute to a charity. Her first donation was at age 5, when she learned about Locks Of Love at school. For the next four years, she would continue to donate her hair every time it grew out.

Revisiting charity: water and its mission to find safe drinking water.

charity: water is a nonprofit organization that raises funds for water projects for some of the 800 million people who don't have readily available clean or safe water. Most of these people carry water miles in yellow fuel cans, dig in the sand to find remnants of the last rainfall, or line up and wait at overburdened wells for up to eight hours a day. Exactly the kind of hardships that inspired Beckwith.

Rachel Beckwith
To help alleviate this problem, charity: water adopted a model that some charity reviewers don't appreciate but donors frequently do. Every dollar donated to water projects goes to water projects.

The balance of the money needed to support operating costs comes from different private donors, foundations, and corporate sponsors. It also has a program called The Well, which includes member donors who give a set amount toward operating costs every year. They call it a 100% model.

The bottom line is that operations are paid for one way. Water projects are paid for by public donations, which water: charity sends to partner organizations working in the these regions. These partner organizations are readily recognizable and water: charity ensures the projects are completed.

While charity: water hosts several fundraising events, its most popular is a social campaign that helps people set up birthday pages to raise money for water projects. The birthday pledge is what attracted Beckwith to start a campaign and she is not alone. Dozens of children do, including 6-year-old Lory.

His campaign raised over $2,000. And although the video doesn't show it, the campaign helped create a legacy of giving in Lory, who is that much more likely to become a lifelong supporter of community causes at home and abroad. And, at the same time, it probably inspired other people to do the same, even if they do so only once in their lives or support a different organization.

A couple graphs about founder Scott Harrison. 

Scott Harrison
Scott Harrison was originally a nightclub and fashion event promotor until he left New York City in 2004 for West Africa as a means to rekindle his spiritual value. To do it, he had signed on with Mercy Ships, a humanitarian organization that provides medical care to poor nations.

His experience as a photojournalist for the organization changed his life. First because he felt like he had given up so much to do it. And then because what he considered scarcity was the envy of the people he had gone to help. After eight months, Harrison found the charity to make his life about charity. In 2006, he became the founder of charity: water.

Charity: Water Is A Liquid Hip Good Will Pick. 

At least once a month, Liquid Hip highlights good will efforts undertaken by people with big hearts. We don't score them. That belongs to you.

We chose charity: water after someone sent us a link to the New York Times story, which in itself is a testament to the influence and impact that Rachel Beckwith had on so many people around the world. I can easily count myself among them. Her story isn't one so easily shaken once you read it.

You can learn more about charity: water by visiting its site. There are many ways to give, but the birthday pledge remains one of the most compelling. You won't be alone in offering support. One of the newest additions would feel right at home here. The members of Depeche Mode have a joint page to help the organization reach its goal to serve 3 million by 2015.
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