Charity: Water

This week I am at the Design Futures Council Leadership Summit on Sustainability. While all of today’s presentations were extremely thought-provoking, tonight’s presentation by Scott Harrison, the founder of Charity: Water was truly inspirational. Scott is a former New York night club promoter who had an epiphany that he was wasting his life and found a new missiponon in charity work on a health mission trip to Liberia. While in Liberia, Scott was confronted with the fact that 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean, safe drinking water and the dire health impacts that this can have. Upon returning to the US, Scott decided to do something about this issue and founded Charity: Water, which builds wells to provide access to clean drinking water to communities in developing countries. Not only does the charity do amazing things to impact communities through the provision of such a basic human need, but it also aims to reinvent the structure of a “charity” by ensuring that 100% of every public donation goes directly to a drinking water project and providing extreme transparency by giving GPS coordinates, photos and data of every project that is undertaken. Scott was an amazing speaker that really brought home the importance of social sustainability and demonstrated that one person can start something enormously impactful. Since it’s inception in 2004, Charity: Water has provided accessible, clean water to over one million people. Scott is quick to point out, though, that one million is only one one-thousandth of one billion, the ultimate goal necessary to eradicate the problem. What can you do to help? Please visit www.charitywater.org.

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