We all love free stuff, but our good friend, Clay Aiken wants to take away our free water at restaurants. Don't get outraged quite yet! He’s working for UNICEF’s “Tap Project,” which is just asking you to donate one dollar for your water to raise awareness of the water crisis worldwide and raise funds for water pumps in the third world. UNICEF is asking restaurants in cities across the nation to participate in this endeavor from March 22nd to the 28th.
Besides working with his foundation to protect the interests of disabled children, Clay Aiken has spent a lot of time working as an Ambassador to UNICEF and advocating UNICEF's Tap Project. He has traveled to Africa to examine first hand the need for fresh water pumps. This is where the Tap Project comes in. In 2007, the first year of the project, 300 restaurants in New York City participated. Last year, 2,000 more restaurants across the country joined in. The fund collected donations from generous diners to help UNICEF provide clean water to women, men, and children internationally. UNICEF'S goal is to reduce the number of people that lack clean water by 50% by 2015.
In many places, clean water doesn't just come out of the tap like it does here. The water-purifying facilities that we take for granted are far too expensive for most countries to develop, especially those which lack the type of government funding we are privileged to have in the USA. Many people in the world must rely on themselves to collect water from local rivers, lakes and the like, because water is a necessity for all. All sources of water, however, are not created equal; many rivers and lakes in our world are extremely polluted by human and animal waste, chemical-ridden fertilizer runoff from farms, and industrial waste. According to UNICEF, 900 million people worldwide lack access to it. This means that 1 out of every 6 people in the world are at risk of dying from water-related diseases.
To find out how to support the tap project in your city, click here. And props to Clay Aiken for supporting this initiative. We’ll tell you one thing Clay, you're our idol, even if Simon Cowell didn't think so!
Submitted by Shamsa Mangalji and Caroline Kotter