Let's admit it, I'm a New Yorker. I've been living here for way too many years that i don't wish to admit. I've lived in NYC more than I have lived in Nice. And I left Nice when I was 17 years old.
I love this city for the main part because it's easy to be out of the norm here. As i've said in my previous blog post [#8 TEASING - BULLYING], you can be a man walking around with a cat on your head and wearing a pink tutu (actually witnessed) and nobody cares.
The comments for being tall in this city pale in comparison to anywhere else. Katja Bavendam, one of the Reality TV stars of My Giant Life (TLC) who is 6'8" and was my second guest on the T-Factor Podcast, agrees with me. It is much easier to be Tall or out of the norm in a city like New York than anywhere else. Except perhaps her native Northern Germany... People here are too busy, have places to go and can't stop and stare, or very rarely. And because it's a melting-pot of so many different backgrounds, there is no native look. So it's hard to stand out here.
Of course, as New Yorkers we all take many, many things for granted. Including drinkable water out of the tap. Granted, I don't actually drink that water as i think it's foul but that's a different conversation all together that triggers a lot of East Coast-West Coast-South Side emotions that I have never quite understood. I do drink tap if it's for a coffee or a tea knowing it's been boiled and where I can't actually taste the centenary water pipes topped with animal growth hormones or pesticides used upstate where most of the water comes from. Otherwise, I'm a Poland Spring kinda gal, delivered each month in reusable containers, so little plastic waste there.
I feel very connected with another New Yorker's work for drinkable water in the world. But naturally, I am a bit of a fraud not drinking tap water when hundreds of thousands in this world don't have access to clean water. What can I say, throw me to the crocodiles.
Scott Harrison is a guy with a great story of Transformation that perpetuates the ever optimist that I am about humankind and its ability to do good. We should all be inspired by his story. He was a night life promoter living on booze, drugs and club life for a decade in the city. Until he got sucked dry by it all and decided to leave, depleted but hopeful to finding his true calling... on a hospital boat in Liberia! Watch the video at the end of this post, it's fascinating. Scott came back to NY and created Charity: Water. Using his experience in hospitality to create amazing events around his charity and his enormous rolodex and the transparency of the organization, he grew this charity to the enormous charity that it is today. They have reached over 9 million people with over 30,000 funded water projects.
I truly believe that people are looking for stories that really mean something - stories that are redemptive, inspiring and bigger than an individual. - Scott Harrison on Thirst.
I came across Charity Water perhaps the second year it existed. I wanted to volunteer for something, already trying to get my head out of my ass, and the story of this charity and how it came about really moved me. I was also writing a TV Show idea and wanted to get to know a NY based charity with international reach. So I went a couple times, they were preparing for an event where they'd have people walk some sort of catwalk with yellow plastic barrels. And these came new, we were supposed to sand-paper 100 of them and stain them to make them look used. I remember the turn out at these events was always impressive and the transparency of the charity remarkable.
To the point where they created The Spring campaign to allow supporters to give monthly in the easiest way possible, trackable spending. And 100% of the donations go to bringing water to people in need. They call it a membership so you're essentially joining a community and each month you know you're connected.
Remember that you can always sign up to AmazonSmile. This is a great way to know every single purchase you make, and goodness knows we have Amazon on repeat, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of eligible goods purchases directly to the charity of your choice. And Charity: Water is on the list!
All you need to start shopping on www.smile.amazon.com instead of the usual www.amazon.com. It's literally 2 clicks to get that started, you don't change accounts, you don't add a new credit card, you just change your habit of shopping on AmazonSmile instead. Same products, same prices.
Ok everyone, have a wonderful week. Thursday is my Birthday and I am Truly looking forward to an exciting year with myself, with my family and with all of you. I hope you get curious about the charities I mention on my blogs this month. These are the ones that stir a little something inside and I hope they will inspire you to get involved with your charity of your choice.
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