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Originally published September 29 2010

Join Will Smith in donating to provide clean water for Africans

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Over a billion people in the world today do not have access to clean drinking water, and many of these people live in developing African countries. But you can help change that by joining actor and artist Will Smith and his wife Jada in "donating your birthday" to charity: water, a non-profit dedicated to bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.

The idea behind the birthday campaign is to encourage people who have September birthdays to "donate" their birthday to the cause of building water wells. So instead of giving you gifts this year, your friends and family can help bring clean water to those in need on your behalf.

Each person who signs up gets his or her own birthday account through which people can donate, and the top three fundraisers will win a trip to Africa with Will and Jada to see the finished wells. Even if you do not have a September birthday, you can still participate in the program.

According to the organization, much of the water that Africans currently drink is filled with dangerous contaminants like E. coli and Salmonella. And women and children typically travel many miles to collect it in giant, 40-pounds jugs, carrying them full all the way back to their homes. It is estimated that Africans spend 40 billion hours a year just traveling back and forth for this unsanitary water.

But thanks to generous support from donors, charity: water has been able to build water wells all over the world, successfully using 100 percent of donor funds on actual project costs in the process. Unlike most other charities, not a single penny of donations to charity: water is used for other things -- all administrative costs, including salaries, are paid for by private donors.

The organization is truly unique in its approach to operating a charity. In fact, one of its stated goals is to restore people's faith in charity. You can learn a whole lot more about charity: water or launch a fundraiser campaign of your own by visiting:

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