We all watched as the first charity: water rig, Yellow Thunder, and the drilling team from our partners at Relief Society of Tigray (REST), prepared to break ground. We watched because we were waiting for the people of Meago Village to get their first clean water. Located in Northern Ethiopia, most of the people here were used to walking three hours for water.
Wait, why were two American superstars with us at a drill in Ethiopia?
Because in 2010, Jada and Will gave up their birthdays for charity: water. They inspired thousands of others to raise money over the course of a year and promised to bring the top fundraisers on this trip.
Last Friday, Jada and Will joined Matt Hall and Dr. John Nosti from The Smile Generation and Cameron and Suzanne Moll of Authentic Jobs, in Ethiopia. Longtime charity: water supporters and fundraisers, The Smile Generation and Authentic Jobs together raised more than $95,000 as a part of Jada and Will’s Birthday Contest. 100% of the money they donated helped fund the purchase of two drilling rig fleets for the 2011 September Campaign.
Now, in Meago Village, they got to see exactly where their money went. In less than three minutes, Yellow Thunder hit its target, and a geyser of water burst from the ground.
Soon, more than 400 people here will have access to clean water. No more three-hour walks. No more dirty drinking water. Children can go back to school. Women can start earning income for their families. Water will change everything for this community.
And we have our dedicated supporters to thank:
Everyone who gave during the 2011 September Campaign, everyone who fundraised for the Smiths’ Birthday Contest. And of course, extra special gratitude to Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith for their graciousness and generosity, and to the dedication of The Smile Generation and Authentic Jobs. Life here just got a little better because of you.