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A Clear Mind For You, Clean Water For Others

Mindful in May has been an incredible supporter of charity: water for the past five years, and we can’t wait to see the impact their amazing community will have this year.

With a mission to help people live healthier, happier, and more clear-minded lives, our friend Dr. Elise Bialylew started Mindful in May, an online program that teaches meditation and mindfulness through an annual month-long challenge where participants are asked to meditate for 10 minutes a day. And, not only is the program helping participants adopt a calmer way of life, it’s also bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in need all around the world.

Mindful in May has supported charity: water since the program’s inception, with five fundraising campaigns that have raised over $450,000 in total. Today, 100% of that money has gone on to bring clean water to more than 15,000 people in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, and Uganda.

Since 2012, the support of this amazing community has helped fund 49 water projects ranging from drilled wells to tap stands. These water points have changed the lives of thousands of people who used to struggle daily without access to life’s most basic need.

The impact of this generous community has made over the years has been absolutely incredible. And they’re not done yet.

This year, Mindful in May is back again and will be raising funds to help bring clean water to communities in need throughout Mali, a landlocked country with vast deserts and a long dry-season where many people lack access to clean water and sanitation.

Through the program, which is open for registration through April 30, participants are invited to make a donation or fundraise by encouraging their friends and families to sponsor their meditation challenge. This way, not only are they learning to meditate and reduce stress with some of the best teachers in the world, they are also making a positive difference and helping families around the world take the first step out of poverty with clean water.  

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The world gets better the more you get Away

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Traveling is a key component of our work here at charity: water.

Our programs team spends around 30% of their time in the field checking in with our local partners on the progress of water projects around the world. Our creative team packs up and travels abroad to meet the people we serve and collect their stories so we can connect our supporters to our work. Even our fundraising team is constantly on the road all around the US and beyond to meet with donors, attend speaking engagements, and host events.

Having the opportunity to travel and meet with our supporters, partners, and beneficiaries face to face adds so much value to the work that we do. It gives us the chance to form real relationships throughout the charity: water community and truly show them how important they are to us and our work.

That’s why we are so excited to announce the launch of our partnership with Away, an amazing travel brand founded on the idea that all trips are worth taking, and the more connections made between people, places, and ideas, the better.

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We collaborated with Away to create luggage that helps support our mission of bringing clean water to people worldwide. The special edition suitcases are black with a bright charity: water-yellow zipper, co-branded handles, and a custom interior lining inspired by prints from Niger.

With every purchase of a special edition Away suitcase, $30 will be donated to charity: water. Together, we’ll give a community in need access to clean water. So not only is this luggage that helps you see the world, it helps make the world a better place too.

“We’re proud to be working with a company like Away that shares our core values of transparency and brand excellence,” our founder, Scott Harrison, said. “Our hope is that through this partnership, we can inspire the Away community and together, bring many more people clean and safe drinking water.”

The collaboration will feature Away luggage in two sizes—The Carry-On and Bigger Carry-On—and will launch on World Water Day, March 22nd.

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This National Banana Bread Day, take a page from Tencia’s recipe book

In 2014, we met an incredible single mom in Mozambique who was using clean water to build her bread-making business into a better future for her family. It’s a beautiful story about entrepreneurship and dreaming bigger, and you should absolutely read it here.

What’s missing from the story, however, is instructions for making this delicious banana bread (called Mucate locally) for yourself.

So today, in honor of National Banana Bread Day, we’re sharing Tencia’s banana bread recipe exactly as she demonstrated it for us back in 2014. It’s dense and chewy, with sweetness balanced by delightful little chunks of salt that crunch as you chew.

Go out and find yourself some banana leaves because you are in for a treat!

Prep Time: 81 minutes

Servings: 6

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Ingredients

  • Clean water
  • 10 ripe bananas
  • 1 massive pile of flour
  • 1 palmful of chunky salt
  • 2 half-spoonfuls of baking soda
  • 12-ish banana leaves

Directions

  1. Rinse dishes and hands with clean water.
  2. Peel 10 bananas, add to bowl and mash with wooden stick or spatula.
  3. Fling banana peels off to the chickens so they’ll quit pestering you.
  4. Sift flour and soda into a large woven basket and add bananas, plus small palmful of salt. Mix and mash. Add a little more flour if necessary. Mix and mash into the dough.
  5. Build a fire and wave each banana leaf over it in preparation.
  6. Wash hands and knife with clean water.
  7. Cut each banana leaf in half and trim the edges. It should be almost a perfect square.
  8. Spoon two scoops of dough into the center of a leaf center, and then carefully fold: left side, right side, top, and then the bottom. Smooth out any wrinkles.
  9. Set the wrapped bundle aside and repeat until all of the bundles are ready.
  10. Place extra banana leaves into a pot to form a base layer, then add the wrapped bundles. Pour two glasses of water on top of the bundles. They should be almost totally covered.
  11. Place pot on fire for three minutes, then add a few more banana leaves on top of the pot and cover with lid. Let boil for 42 minutes.
  12. While banana bread is cooking, wash plates with clean water, clean up other supplies, and then take a minute to sit next to the fire with your eyes closed for a bit.
  13. Remove pot from the fire and carefully retrieve bundles one at a time (consider dipping your fingers in cold water if removing by hand).
  14. Unwrap the bundles, cut bread into thick slices, and serve. Your final product will look like wet clumps with leaf prints on them. Enjoy.
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5 Subscriptions That Are Bigger Than Their Box

As the subscription trend has grown, we’ve seen all kinds of products become more popular – from food and beauty boxes to music and movie streaming services.

But did you know that your subscriptions can also help change the world? Here are five of our favorites that give back for a greater cause.

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Causebox

Causebox collaborates with up-and-coming brands to curate a selection of products that are meaningful, inspiring, and uplifting. They encourage women to be their best self while introducing them to companies and communities that are making a difference in the world. Each box contains 5-8 lifestyle products from different brands that are focused on ethical and sustainable production. And a percentage of proceeds from each box sold is donated to charity!

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Love With Food

If your New Year’s resolution has anything to do with eating healthier and being more philanthropic, then you’ll love this subscription box. Each month, you can go on a fun foodie adventure with a box delivered right to your door filled with new unique, tasty, and natural snacks. And for every box sold, Love With Food donates a portion of their proceeds to help fight childhood hunger in the US and around the world.

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Soma

Soma is on a mission to improve life for everyone with sustainable filters, carafes, and pitchers that make water healthy and delicious. Because they are passionate about clean water and giving back, they created a subscription program in which you can receive a fresh filter every two months so you always have the freshest water. And with every filter you receive, Soma includes a donation to support clean drinking water projects globally.

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Mission Cute

Mission Cute aims to make a difference, one cute box at a time. Each month, you receive a box filled with hand-curated items like candles, jewelry, and more, all from local artisans and small businesses. And every month, Mission Cute partners with a nonprofit organization (chosen by their community), donates 50% of their net proceeds, and helps promote the organization’s mission to raise awareness.

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The Spring

The Spring is charity: water’s monthly giving program. It’s made up of a passionate group of supporters who are committed to seeing a day when everyone on the planet has clean water. Not only are members helping to bring clean and safe drinking water to thousands of people every single month, but they’re also helping to put maintenance teams to work so we can ensure that water keeps flowing for years to come.

Members of The Spring are connected with their impact on a monthly basis, through real-time updates and stories from around the world that show how their monthly donations are being put to use. We know how to solve the water crisis in our lifetime. With your help, we will!

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Gifts that give more

Most people immediately think about the physical benefits of clean water. The improved health, access to education, increased income, and more. But over the past decade, we’ve gotten to see some of the less expected ways clean water can change people’s lives. In addition to providing families with more time and job opportunities, clean water can also inspire pride, hope, and so much more.

Here are six feelings you can give when you choose to give the gift of clean water.

1. Dignity

Give the gift of dignity this holiday season so women can have enough water to bathe and take care of themselves.

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Women who are responsible for collecting water for their families have to make a choice. Should the water they collected today be given to their children? Should it be used to make dinner for their families who have been out working in the field all day? Most days, women have to sacrifice the chance to care for their own personal hygiene so that their families can have enough water.

2. Equality

Give the gift of equality this holiday season so that boys and girls alike can all focus on more important things, like earning an income or going to school.

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Collecting water is often a woman’s job. It’s tedious, exhausting, and painful work. Women often have to walk miles to the nearest river or spring and have to take turns collecting water using pans or ladles. It’s a brutally slow process that can take hours. Especially when they have to wait in line. Young girls learn to balance the weight of a water bucket, sometimes with a baby on their back.

3. Happiness

Give the gift of happiness this holiday season so communities can have a reason to smile, laugh, cheer, and dance every single day.

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One of the best parts about providing a community with access to clean water is the celebration that follows. We’ve seen entire communities show up with music blasting as kids jump up and down in amazement. Men and women of all ages start joyfully dancing and cheering. It is one of the most unforgettable and exciting moments of the entire journey to clean water.

4. Hope

Give the gift of hope so community members can have the freedom to dream bigger and the means to make their dreams a reality.

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We believe clean water has the power to instill hope for a better future. Kids who used to miss class can now study English, Science, and Mathematics in hopes of becoming teachers and doctors. Women can now use their extra time to build and maintain vegetable gardens. And families can worry less about surviving and start looking forward to their future.

5. Pride 

Give the gift of pride this holiday season so students can proudly serve as good examples to their fellow community members and represent the hope of tomorrow.

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No charity: water project is complete until we’ve also educated the local community about the importance of sanitation and hygiene. Many students learn about the importance of handwashing at school and are put in the unique position to teach their family, friends, and community why a sanitary environment is equally as important as clean water.

6. Safety

Give the gift of safety this holiday season so women and girls can access clean water right in the middle of their village without the fear of being attacked by anything or anyone.

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In many countries around the world, women and girls put their lives in danger every day to collect water for their families. They wake up before sunrise and spend hours taking on the exhausting and dangerous task of walking for water alone. Despite their fears of predators that lurk near water sources (like snakes, crocodiles, and strangers) they make the walk each day.


There’s no better time than the holidays, a season all about giving, to truly take a step back and think about what you truly have the power of giving when you give.

This year, give so much more than a gift. Give happiness. Give hope. Give clean water.