Help Me Give Away My Birthday

9 Apr

Each year for the first 18 years of my life I received generous presents from my family and friends on my birthday, which I am incredibly thankful for. But for my 19th, I’ve decided to do something a little bit unconventional, and give my birthday away to those who are in greater need than I.

Millions of people in this world lack access to clean water. I saw this first hand on my mission trip to Africa in the summer of 2011, and it is something that I have always wanted to do something about. Not long ago I came across Charity Water, and was instantly sold on their mission. They are one of the most efficient and transparent charities in the world, and their mission is one of the easiest to support.

Essentially, Charity Water uses 100% of the publicly donated money they receive to give those who live in third world countries access to clean water. Their operational costs are covered entirely by a few large private donors. So if you have ever been concerned about where your money is really going when you donate to a charity, you can be assured that Charity Water is one of the best places nonprofits around. They also track which projects your contribution goes towards, and send you a report once the project is completed with pictures, and even a GPS location! In short, it is a great nonprofit organization.

In the last year or so, I’ve seen several of my favorite bloggers run fundraisers through Charity Water for their birthdays, so I decided that I could do the same. While I don’t have nearly the readership or influence that some of those guys have, I figured it is definitely reasonable that I could raise a nice chunk of change for an organization whose mission I really like to support.

So to celebrate my coming birthday (which is May 3rd), I have set a goal to raise $1000 for Charity Water. While that may seem like a lofty goal, I think it is more than doable. I am promoting this not only through my blog, but also to my friends and family, and will be contributing some of my own money as well.

I’m kick starting things with a $100 donation. That $100 was given to me by one of my uncles last year as a graduation present. He gave me a unique and interesting challenge: Instead of spend that money on something or just put it towards college, he challenged me to use it to really and truly help someone. He specifically told me to not simply put it in a church offering or hand it to someone on the street, but take my time to find someone truly in need and help them. Charity Water says that just over $60 will provide clean water for one person. Seeing as I’m a glass half full type of person, I’ll go ahead and round up and say that with the money he gave me, I’m providing water for two people in need. I don’t know them. At this point I don’t even know where they are. But I do know that I am making a difference in two people’s lives, and that is a great feeling to say the least.

So I’m asking, if you feel so inclined, you get me the best birthday present I could ever ask for, and help contribute to this campaign. If you choose to donate, you will recieve the report of the finished project, with pictures of the people you helped! With your contribution, we may one day live in a world where everyone has access to clean water!

If you can’t give money yourself, consider sharing this post with your personal network and help spread the word.

Here is the link to my campaign:

James Petzke’s 19th Birthday Campaign


One Response to “Help Me Give Away My Birthday”

  1. July 13, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    This is such a great concept that I had to write a comment.

    When you put others before yourself, you stand to feel good and also get great returns.

    This concept shows what type of person you are – a nice one!


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