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Why I want Clean Drinking Water for My Birthday!

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Recently I had the very special opportunity to interview Laura Fitton, @Pistachio on twitter, (with 75,000 followers no less); co-author of “Twitter for Dummies”, and founder of the very successful www.oneforty.com

If anyone has a claim to be a twitter celebrity, it is Laura. She is helpful, knowledgeable, and very accessible; truly a class act.

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I was intrigued with why she wanted clean drinking water for her birthday………. 

It all started with: “…seeing so many impoverished street kids in India when I was there 3 years ago. It BROKE my heart. I came home with mild dysentery, and while getting treated for it, learned that 4500 kids under 5 die – EVERY DAY – from the simple lack of clean (drinking) water”

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“I had to do something, but I had no idea how to get involved.

I heard about @scottharrison and @charitywater from @Biz Stone in a twitter newsletter. The first Christmas after my marriage broke up was approaching, and I was anxious and sad and I also a little overwhelmed by having 12,500 followers on Twitter. Luckily I hit on http://twitter.com/wellwishes as a place to put my love & energy to get through Christmas and right on into my birthday”

You can find more about Charity Water  plus many articles and posts online.

I asked Laura how social networking made things easier for organizations like Charity Water.  She pointed out that “….it makes decentralized efforts so much easier and more possible. Just a few weeks after @wellwishes ended, @amanda’s global @twestival effort raised $250,000 for @charitywater, and dozens of cities around the globe participated”.

Laura continued with more information about her first time ….. “in the original “wellwishers”, all we asked for was $2, and all you had to do to pledge was tweet and use a tool called @tipjoy (a now-defunct micro payments site) to fulfill your pledge. 1,000+ people took part. The ‘ask’ was so little, it was very easy to pass along to others, and very easy to be a part of something really big. In the end we built 5 wells.

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Check out Laura’s current “wellwishers” celebrating her 39th birthday

In conclusion, I’d like to mention that although Bank-On-Rain has a little different focus (rainwater collection), it has the very same goal of clean drinking water. The Charity Water global phenomenon has demonstrated the incredible power of social networking in building a global community. Bank-On-Rain is just starting to build our global community, so what can we learn from Charity Water? 

My vision of the future for Bank-On-Rain includes micropayments driving chartable donations ~ Laura said above “…the ‘ask’ was so little, it was very easy to pass along to others, and very easy to be a part of something really big…”

And finally, what is compelling to me personally about Charity Water is that every dollar donated is in fact used for the purpose it is given.

Thank you Charity Water, and Thank you Laura.

Caroline Di Diego CASUDI, Bank On rain Founder and Director. THINK RAIN!

Follow us on twitter @BANKONRAIN ~ Check us out on Google+ ~ Like us on Facebook and don’t forget Pinterest

Images:  Laura: ©Laura Fitton,  Dirty Rivers of India Collection: copyright unknown,  Success Stories in India: ©Charity Water (with special thanks)

Originally published January 9, 2011 on Posterous (4400 views)

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