Editor’s note: Jennifer O’Connor and Do-Gooder have a long history together. She was one of the original founders of Groundwork Opportunities, Do-Gooder’s first beneficiary for Clear Water.org. Jennifer was recently funded in July by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to promote global health in Africa and fight AIDS. Clean, accessible water is still close to her heart. In response to Slate’s article “Take the ‘No Ice Bucket’ Challenge”, she gave us permission to repost her thoughts on the Ice Bucket Challenge and her alternative to dumping a bucket of ice on her head for charity.
So more on this Ice Bucket Challenge...I'm going to do my own water bucket challenge. So here goes... #icebucketchallenge.
More than 780 million people lack access to clean water (that's 2.5x's the population of the USA) and 3.4 million of these people die each each year due to a lack of clean water. Lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crash every four hours. So, while dumping clean water on your head (unless you are going to save that water to then drink or clean with) seems like a silly or fun idea to most, I can't stop thinking about the wastefulness of it - which, granted, is mostly because I have worked on clean water issues for over 7 years.
Just because it may not seem scarce to you, it's a false notion to think water is an unlimited resource. In California, there will be communities within the next few months that will be out of clean water due to a very serious drought, and they will be wishing that they had all those buckets of water.
So I’m going to do my own challenge. I am going to use 1 bucket of water a day for the next week. Just 1 bucket and nothing more. 1 bucket for all my showering, tooth brushing, cleaning, drinking, etc. And I'm going to make a silly video of myself doing it to stay in line with this funny/silly video thing. And if I can't do it, I'm going to donate $100 to Water.org, an organization that is doing exceptional and truly impactful work globally around clean water. Once I put up my video, I'll nominate some other folks to try it. Alix Lebec, I challenge you folks at water.org for starters.
Water is arguably the biggest issue of our lifetime, so I’m just throwing it out there that we should think before we waste and maybe come up with a challenge that is a little more truly thoughtful for a cause you care about.
For ALS - I will be putting up my ALS Napa Valley Charity ride/walk donation page in the next day to collect donations for ALS- because ALS matters too!!