Actress Alyssa Milano has written an article in the Huffington Post pledging her commitment to charity and planning to, instead of receive, give a gift to people everywhere. Milano says:
“As a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and the founding ambassador for the Global Network, I’ve traveled to the field and seen firsthand the devastation left behind by waterborne illnesses,” wrote the actress. “On these trips, I’ve run the gamut of emotions that range from mind-bending anger to heart-warming hope. Upon my return from the field, I count my blessings, and then as time passes, I become frustrated with myself that I’m not doing more to alleviate the pain of those I met on my journey.
“It is because of this very frustration that I decided to give up my birthday. I have everything I could ever want or need. All I want is to provide life-giving water for 10 communities, 500 families and 2,500 people. This is my Birthday wish. In lieu of spending money on a party or presents, I’m asking people to donate to my charity:water campaign and help make my wish come true.”
Milnao is aiming to raise $50,000 for the charity. Charity:Water was established by Scott Harrison, a Manhattan party promoter, in 2006. While on a freelance photography trip in Africa, Harrison was shocked to see victims of contaminated water suffering long and painful deaths. He set up the charity to stimulate greater global awareness about extreme poverty, educating the public, and provoking compassionate and intelligent giving.
“Currently, almost a billion people in the world don’t have access to life’s most basic need: clean and safe drinking water,” wrote Milano. “That’s 1 in 8 people on the planet. Over 200 million people right now have a water-related disease called schistosomiasis… It’s a fancy word for parasites. Worms. When you see a heartbreaking photo of a malnourished child with an extended belly, that child most likely has this waterborne schistosomiasis and no matter what food or nutrients you give them, without proper medication and clean water they most likely will not survive.
“I believe it is innately within us, as warriors of the human spirit, to give to those less fortunate. Sometimes, we just don’t know how to go about doing it. If this rings true for you, I encourage you to watch the below video, be inspired, and join me by starting your own holiday campaign today at http://www.charitywater.org/holidays.”
To donate to Alyssa’s campaign, click here. Her full article can be read in the Huffington Post here.