via Caroline Kotter
Can you imagine Entourage star Adrian Grenier carrying 80 pound tanks filled with water down a fashion runway? Believe or not, he did just last night, along with Gnarls Barkley vocalist Cee-Lo, Jenna Elfman and other guests who attended charity: ball 2008. It was the third annual benefit to raise money for Scott Harrison’s wonderful organization charity: water. Each walk down the runway with one of these jerry cans (yellow gasoline tanks) in each hand raised $80 for building freshwater wells in developing nations. The 48-foot runway is a fraction of the distance people in Uganda walk every day just to get water that isn’t even clean. “You should drink a glass of dirty water and see how it feels,” says Adrian, host of the night, who marched down the catwalk several times throughout the evening. This really put the water crisis in perspective.
The room was covered in photos from the thirteen countries receiving freshwater wells because of Scott’s efforts. Each country had their own section and showed the positive effects of the campaign that is giving children one of their rights back: “every child has the inherent right to life.” [Article 6 of the Convention on the Right of a Child]
Other than practicing physical labor, there were many other ways to donate at the event from bidding at the silent auction to purchasing bottled water. Oh no, not again! For those of you who read the article covering Kim Raver promoting Volvic’s “Drink 1 Give 10” campaign, you know that CGG has some issues with this. Scott Harrison himself agrees: “We actually think bottled water is pretty evil.” Did I mention the water bottle is $20? Scott himself wants to get rid of the bottled water, and instead focus on less harmful ways to help. “But we think if you are going to drink bottled water you should spend twenty times what it costs and 100 percent of the money should go to help someone in a developing nation,” Scott tells us. They also deserve credit because, 100% of that $20 water bottle goes directly towards making the wells. Adrian tells CGG that this was why he wanted to work on the campaign. “I try to contribute to sustainable charities,” And charity:water has our stamp of approval in that aspect. They not only build the wells, they teach the locals how to maintain and repair them. Despite the shame you may feel when you see the statistics on the bottle, there are no exploitative photographs of small African children drinking water that Volvic is so fond of. The charity:water bottle is fashioned without the distracting, commercial elements—it is simple black label with “charity:water” in white.
In fact, all of the advertising Scott is doing to promote his cause and raise awareness is in good taste. He was a photojournalist for many years, and he seems to be practicing responsible media. Charity:water has many responsible as well as entertaining components like their website: www.charitywater.org, their Public Service Announcements, and their benefits like the charity:ball. Scott has packaged the cause and his organization in a educational way and by doing so is practicing Article 17 of the CRC which “Encourage[s] the mass media to disseminate information and material of social and cultural benefit to the child.” This is what Do Something works to achieve and you can too!
Scott’s advice to CGG readers who want to Do Something is to “get a group of people together around a project. Break it down and build communities that can accomplish a goal and then show them what the money does.” By not only asking people for money but showing them the effects you can truly strengthen a project and ensure that it will be long lasting.
By CGG Contributing Reporter Caroline Cotter