Friday, September 30, 2011
I remember the first time I was exposed to the disease called cholera. I was reading an American girl book about my favorite American girl –Kirsten. She and her family were traveling on a steam boat to their new home in Minnesota (in 1854) from where their boat landed (they immigrated from Sweden) in New York. Kirsten’s best friend (and one of my favorite characters) caught cholera and died. I was devastated. How would the series go on? Would everyone catch this disease and die? I was a very worried 9 year old. I had to ask my mom about it because suddenly I became afraid not only for the characters in the book but for myself! What if I drank dirty water and caught cholera? My mom reassured me that the water we were drinking was from a safe well and that we filtered it as it came into the house so that it would be even cleaner. My little nine year old self was put at ease for the moment. But this just isn’t the case everywhere.
No one should have to worry about getting sick and dying from a water borne disease. Of course I know I go a little overboard with water filtration, but I did grow up on well water and I just can’t stand the taste of the city water that comes out of our tap. I know its safe, mostly.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Finally! My etsy shop is up and running. Everything in the shop is a charity: water donation from now until November 26th!! Check it out and let me know what you think! I’ve got bunches more to post and am always willing to do a custom piece!
I just watched the live stream Q &A with Scott Harrison and I’m even more excited than I was before. Seriously guys, this year’s campaign is awesome.
Scott really wanted to help the fundraisers (ie: me and the other 600 people with campaigns like mine) understand why the September Campaign this year is funding a rig instead of wells. And this is really exciting stuff.
(As of September 28th, the campaign as a whole is at 37% of its goal at $444,347. Help us reach our goal, check out my charity: water page! http://mycharitywater.org/changeisgood)
Who gets the rig?
REST – the Relief Society of Tigray – has been working with charity: water for over 4 years digging wells. As it happens, they’ve been supplying some capital needs for REST all along, just nothing as big or as expensive as a rig. Just things like this:
(Click on the image to read all about REST, and the work that charity: water is doing with them in Tigray.) So far, charity: water has funded 300 wells in Northern Ethiopia (specifically the region of Tigray). Scott has personally visited over 150 of these wells and certified that the work being done by REST is really top notch. But there is a backlog of work to be done because they can’t move fast enough to use all the money that charity: water fundraisers have raised. (That’s a nice problem to have, eh?)
So tonight Scott was saying that Tigray is a really perfect place for water projects because the need there is so acute (only about 50% of people have access to water right now – but two years ago that number was only 30%!). It’s also a great place to drill because they’re drilling through rock – the perfect substance to drill through. They have a 95% success rate with well drilling projects. (Holy Cow!) So if the need is there and the water is there and the only thing keeping people from getting to the water is the lack of a well, then that should be pretty easy to solve right?
Enter the Rig
Right now, REST has 3 rigs running drilling 80 wells a year each. They have mechanics to fix them (who quite literally live with the rigs to keep them functioning), staff to run them, and hydrologists out in the field finding locations to drill. With this new rig they’ll be able to drill an additional 80 wells a year – each reaching between 150-300 people. You can see how the numbers add up pretty quickly. Estimates say that each new rig charity: water buys for REST will reach over 20,000 people a year with clean water.
And that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. Any questions? GO watch the video for yourself and get just as excited as I am.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Holy Moly! We are now 1/3rd of the way through our campaign and we’re already over 60% of the way to our goal!!! I just want to say that you guys are amazing. I mean really. Thank you so much for supporting this campaign and clean water and for giving to charity: water.
The craigslist event is still ongoing. I still have more stuff to sell and if you want me to sell your stuff for you I’ll do that too. Just leave a comment or send me an email. We’ve raised over $355 just from selling our old junk!
Here’s what’s still for sale:
Weekly Challenges are still ongoing… there will be more…although I think I’m the only one doing them…which isn’t very motivating, but I guess I’m setting the example, right? If you’re doing these challenges you should really let me know because you deserve credit!!! Giving up coffee and netflix and telling people to give away their money is hard work!!
There are a couple of giveaways coming up that I know you’re going to want to get involved in. I’ll post the links when they’re up! (I’m SOOOOO excited about this) You have no idea.
Pants and Baby Bows! And Christmas! And baby showers! and stuff. My etsy shop is up and running and all the items in the shop are charity: water donations! Of course you know I’m only making what I’m good at – hair bows and baby pants… and maybe I’ll add in lovey taggy blankets in a week or two. There are more styles coming so if you don’t see something you like, but you want to give the gift of clean water (and have your baby wear something cute at the same time) just send me a note, I’d be glad to whip up something custom and special for you.
Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you again.
Seriously. You’re making a difference. You’re changing the world. One ounce of clean water at a time. Really, you’re my heroes.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Don’t you love when you pull out your winter coat and find some change – perhaps even a $20 – in the pockets?? Oh this is one of my favorite feelings. Its like getting something for free, except not.
No, I don’t purposely leave $20 in my coat so I can find it in the fall. But I have found it there before!! More often it happens with gift cards that are lying around with a few dollars left on them. I love gift cards.
So at this point you’ve been reading my blogs/FB statuses and are thinking to yourself that you’d really like to give… but … the economy … and your job (or lack of job)… and your mom said … and your savings account … and yadadadada excuse x10billion.
Its ok. I forgive you. I’m here to help. Here are three ways to find spare change that you don’t need or at least that you can spare.
Do you get coffee every day at a shop? or may every week? Cut out just one latte a week and you’ve got anywhere between $3.45 and $4.50 to spare. Can’t give up your fix? Cutting out the flavor shot will give you $0.50 in spare change each time you give it up.
I didn’t say you had to give big to give at all. Every penny helps.
Do you eat out often? Do you and your spouse/partner/GF/BF/BFF always get your own meal? Consider splitting a meal just once this month instead of getting your own. That will give you between $12 and $20 to spare (one average).
I know its nice to get your own meal and maybe you already know you don’t need all the calories (I can never finish a meal when we eat out) and you just like having leftovers for lunch. Fine, no problem. Then consider finding the difference between the item you order and the most expensive item on the menu. Pretend your meal cost the most and give away the difference that you spared. This is probably $4-20 you spared by ordering a less expensive item (for an average restaurant. I’m not talking about a 5 star Kobe Beef and Lobster meal… although that would be really nice, wouldn’t it?)
3) Netflix/HuluPlus/Xbox live
I did it. I know. I just suggested you give up your tv watching service for a month. But really this is a great way to get $10 and ooooodles of time back into your life. Or, you could consider that all the new seasons of everything you’ve been catching up on are about to start this week and you could cut off the catch up service while you enjoy the first few new episodes. See, you don’t even have to stop watching tv to help other people get water. And since everyone hates the new netflix set up anyways and you can watch most of the tv you really want to see for free online, I think the $10 you’re sparing here for the sake of water is worth it.
I’d love to hear how you find some spare change to give. Leave some comment love and let me know what you did.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I’ve said it a lot already, but I just can’t get over this image.
I imagine myself walking the 3/4ths of a mile down to Greenlake, filling up a Jerry Can with this nasty water (that I usually refuse to even swim in) and taking it home. I imagine pouring it into my juice glasses and setting it down in front of my daughter for her to drink.
Please people. In my right mind I won’t even drink the tap water here in Seattle. One – because I hate the taste of city water. Two – have you ever read the list of chemicals they put in your city water to make it clean????? YIKES!!! Flouride I understand, we all want our kids to have strong teeth, but Chlorine, ALL of its TOXIC and CARCINOGENIC by products (that occur because of the reactions with organic matter like leaves in run off water), and EVERYTHING ELSE that’s just in the water that gets recycled through the waste treatment plants again and again and again. YUCK.
When I think about that, I don’t even want to drink the perfectly safe, perfectly clean water that comes out of my own tap. Much less the water in any of the ponds, streams, rivers, or lakes nearby. Can you imagine drinking something that looks like this?
This is a woman who lives in Northern Ethiopia, the region where the drilling rig we’re raising money for will be working. Click here to help.
Don’t have any spare cash? That’s ok. This week’s challenge will help you find some. It’s coming up next.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Charity:water’s founder, Scott Harrison, shares his story at Big Omaha. I love hearing the redemptive story of how a night club promoter goes from addict to organizer and starts changing the world. It you don’t have time to watch the whole video, scroll down and skim through the text.
Unfortunately, for some reason I have trouble embedding vimeo videos, so you’ll have to go to the site to watch the video, but here’s my favorite quote from the transcript:
“The dictionary defines charity as simply the act of giving voluntarily to those in need. It's taken from the word "caritas," or simply, love. In Colossians 3, the Bible instructs readers to "put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." Although I'm still not sure what that means, I love the idea. To wear charity.”
I hope you watch the video, it might just change your life.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Did you complete challenge 1? Good for you!
(If you didn’t don’t worry, you still have time! Check it out here)
Next up, Craigslist.
This week’s challenge is to join me in cleaning out stuff you don’t use, want, or need that’s just cluttering up your place. Get rid of it and help some people along the way. You’re not using it anymore anyways, right? Good, so instead of giving it away, see if you can sell it and then turn the cash into clean water! You’ll get a clean closet and some people you’ve never met will get clean water. It’s the perfect way to bring change.
Leave comment telling me what you’re selling and a link to the craigslist post.
Saturday, September 10, 2011
I was thinking last night about how wonderful it is that I don’t have to walk an hour with an empty jerry can to get water just so I can walk an hour back with a full can to wash my face, brush my teeth, cook my dinner, and then clean up from it.
WOW. I AM SO THANKFUL!
As I start looking around our little rental home I try not to think about the big house we gave up to move out here to Seattle. I really loved that home, but maybe a little too much. Living in this smaller (but really still quite large) duplex sometimes erks me and that reminds me of how thankful I should be for all that I have. I mean really, how selfish is it for me to be upset about a living room that doesn’t fit my furniture when there are 1 billion people in the world who don’t have clean water. Really? I make myself sick.
So, I’ve rummaged through my closet and found a bunch of stuff we never use anymore that is still in perfect working condition and I’ve posted it on craigslist for what I feel are fair prices. If you live within driving distance and are willing to come pick it up, (or don’t mind paying for shipping if you live far away..) I’ll give it to you for a donation to my charity:water campaign. It doesn’t need to be the price listed on craigslist, more is ok too! <wink wink>
Here’s the stuff I posted and the links to craigslist:
I’m sure I’ll do another craigslist event next month. Help us out and spread the word. -M
Update: Items are selling!!! Sweet!!!
Friday, September 9, 2011
Pumpkins and pumpkin bread so remind me of fall. Along with Pumpkin spice lattes, cool crisp evenings, my daughter’s birthday, and bright yellow flowers. Anyways, my friend Ros sent me this recipe the other night and I really wanted to share it with you so I asked her if I could share it here. I can’t wait to try out this bread, it looks super delicious and sooooo healthy!!
- 1 3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Pumpkin pie spices
- 1 3/4 C agave syrup
- 1 C pumpkin puree
- just under 1/4 cup oil (sorry I don't have an exact amount...)
- 2 Tbs maple syrup
- 1 Tbs water
- chopped walnuts
Mix wet in sep. bowl
Add WET to dry
Bake at 350 for 40 - 50 min.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Our Sweet Pea is turning 1 in about a little over a month and to get ready for her birthday I’m making this sweet craft! The linked website has instructions, but they’re a little vague so I’ll get a nice tutorial up when I’m done for those of you who want to try it out but (like me) need pictures to go a long with the instructions.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
This was my favorite. And it gave me an idea for my next challenge.
And I wanted to say A big thanks to those of you who have helped me so far in this campaign. We're up to $165!!! Wohoo! Over 10%!!
Help us out by completing the first challenge. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!
Lets say 5.
Tell five friends about charity:water and post back here to tell me what they said. You have 5 days. Ready. Go. :-)
(Hint, Hint: the easiest way to do this is to send them a video link or a link to my blog <ribbonsforgrace.blogspot.com/search/tags/give>, charity:water site <mycharitywater.org/changeisgood> or the main charity water site <charitywater.org>)
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Water. How much water do you think you drink in a day? 2 cups? 4 cups? just at dinner? Do you like to drink juice and pop too? Or are you addicted to water like I am and drink nothing but most of the day? Do you have a filter so your water doesn’t taste like chemicals? What would you do if you had to walk 5 miles to get something to drink? Would you want to drink it once you found it?
1/6th of the world currently has limited access to water – some people walk up to 3 hours to fill up a jug with water to use for ALL of their day’s activities. Drinking. Cooking. Washing. And did I mention that these jugs are HEAVY? Yeah, not your gallon-oh-milk sized jugs, I’m talking about a 20 L jerry can. I can barely pick up two at a time, much less carry 2 at a time (sometimes 40lbs worth!) from ye’ ole’ water hole all the way home. Check out this video to learn more about the water crisis.
My campaign will bring 75 people clean water – that’s a small village! - and you’ll be able to track it via GPS when its done because this year charity:water is buying a drilling rig. Think about giving. You could be the instrument of change.