Thank you for catching lil' Kyler! You see I've had a knack for running away from things since I was little... and for the longest time, one of those things was my birthday. I didn't feel like I was worthy of being celebrated and it felt uncomfortable to receive so much attention so I would turn off my phone for the day and deactivate my facebook account so no one could interrupt the pity party I was throwing...Not to be confused with a "pitty party" which is a gathering of adorable pit bulls wearing fun hats and eating birthday cake. That would have been a better choice for my mental health in hindsight!
What I'm getting at is that USED to be the case. This year I am so happy to celebrate my birthday and I want everyone to know! With my 29th year around the sun, I want to kick it off with gratitude for all of the blessings in my life.
I am grateful for all of my amazing friends and family who shine so much love on me!
I am grateful to get to share life and grow with my sweet, gorgeous, hilarious partner with the biggest heart!
I am grateful for my dog who brings so much joy and adventure into my everyday life!
I am grateful for getting to live out my dreams of telling stories with my camera!
I am grateful for my health and to even be given the opportunity to celebrate my 29th birthday!
I am grateful for food, shelter, and... clean water.
Around November of last year, I was in a dark place and one day I was watching videos on YouTube to distract me. Before my video started, I was hit with a 20 minute long ad that I was happily about to skip until... I didn't. As I was getting ready to click away, the man in the video started to talk about how he was at one of the lowest points in his life and how that lead to him to create one of the most impactful water charities in the world. His name is Scott Harrison and he was feeling emotionally bankrupt before he left his life as a highly successful New York nightclub promoter behind to sail around the coast of Africa on a medical ship that would perform free surgeries for suffering, disadvantaged people. While he was on this mission, he learned that so many of these medical issues could be curbed if these communities just had access to clean water. This lead him to establish charity:water which uses 100% of its donations on well projects for people who risk their safety and life advancement opportunities, like education or getting a job, in the pursuit of water.
I watched the entire 20 minute video ad and I was bawling my eyes out!
My friend Alex let me borrow the book Scott wrote and one story from it in particular was the inspiration for this campaign today. A 13 year old girl from Ethiopia walked hours each day to fill up a ceramic pot (from a contaminated water source, mind you) so her family had water to cook, clean with, and drink. Despite this extremely time consuming task, she had bigger dreams for herself and was trying to go to school at the same time. One day as she was walking back, and within minutes of her house, she tripped and the pot shattered. She watched all of the water she spent all day gathering get eaten up by the bone dry dirt. She had already been falling behind in school and now her family didn't have a pot to even gather water with. She had enough. Later that evening as her family returned for the day, they found her lifeless body in the tree near their house. Reading that story broke my heart. Life is hard enough even when fundamental needs are met, let alone having to worry about gathering water each and every day. While the tragic story of this girl can never be reversed, I hope that more lives can be uplifted by getting access to clean water.
This year, to celebrate the gratitude I have for this 29th year, I want to donate my birthday to a future of cleaner water for all. I am asking for friends and family to donate $29 to charity:water instead of presents this year. If you've already sent me money or maybe even a present, I will donate money on your behalf and graciously accept any gifts already given!
Thank you for reading this and Happy Birthday to me!
All donations made to Kyler’s campaign
|Kyler's Birthday Party Friends||$150|
|Donna and Tim Knutson||$100|
|Tony and Susan Carretta||$29|
Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Your donation will help change that.
Make your check payable to charity: water. Write the code below in the memo so we can track it to the correct campaign.
Then, drop your check in the mail! You'll receive an official tax receipt about 3 - 4 weeks after your check is processed.