Ethan  Yen

Ethan's 22nd Birthday Water Fundraiser!

Ethan Yen

As you’ve probably noticed through my Facebook page, Twitter feed, or my personal blog, I am greatly interested in water and how we as humans interact with water through policies and the built environment. For the most part, I try to bring awareness of water use and technology among the “developed” world to prove to everyone that water is still very much a topic of concern for those of us who enjoy such pleasures as hybrid cars and 4K televisions. Water infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating, and modern society has to re-think how we interact with and manage water resources if we hope to continue and improve our lifestyles.

My focus on the “developed” world is by no means an attempt to detract attention on water and sanitation issues in the “developing” world. I strongly believe in the power of improving lives by providing reliable, clean and safe drinking water. But while everyone is aware of the problem, I think constant bombardment of facts and figures can desensitize us to the issue. Even if we don’t know the exact statistics we all know that lack of safe water impacts health, keeps children from attending schools, and traps millions of people in a cycle of poverty. I’ve always thought that if I could make water “cool” to people by showing them all the interesting technologies in development and create a sense of personal concern by showing that water is not just an issue of others, I could motivate people to improve water infrastructure for ALL.

So for my 22nd birthday, I’m starting a fundraiser for and asking my friends to donate whatever amount they can. I’m confident that the people I know are willing to donate even just a little bit to this cause. There’s no pressure, and I sincerely hope I’m not guilty-tripping you too much, but I’m hoping that if you’re reading this, you would be willing to at least give a dollar (well, at least $5, seeing as that’s the minimum donation). I’m not so concerned with the actual amount we raise, I’m more interested in just getting as many people to donate as possible. For every $25 that we raise, can give someone access to safe water. Even though it seems straightforward, providing clean, reliable water is a complex issue that doesn’t end with just digging a well. There are plenty of water/sanitation charities and foundations out there (you should check out AguaClara, they are doing some amazing stuff!) but I’ve decided to go with You can find more information regarding where the donated money goes, and the history of the charity on their website.

And to encourage you further, I’m going to offer some incentives for donations made by October 11th, 2015!

Donations of $10 or higher will have the opportunity to suggest a topic for me to cover in my blog (the topic must be relevant to the areas I normally cover in my blog). The blog post will be dedicated to you and your name will appear on the post if you so desire.

Donations of $25 or higher will receive a handwritten postcard from me thanking you for your donation.

Donations of $50 or higher will receive an original 8.5"x11" B&W sketch by me of something water-related (I promise I’m not THAT bad of an artist).

Please consider donating, if not for me, for yourself, because water is a shared resource!

16 supporters
Andrew Eccles — $50.00
Happy Birthday Ethan! (Come visit, please. :D )
Kate Zhou — $5.00
Happy Birthday Ethan!
kelly wong — $25.00
i love this idea!!
Robyn Zimmerman — $25.00
Happy Birthday Ethan! I will celebrate your birth any day.

Promote this fundraiser

Here are some tips and tools to help you transform more lives with safe water.

Send an email

Send an email inviting everyone you know to give water. Remember to share your story and why you are passionate about raising funds to change lives with safe water.

Get social!

Post one of these graphics on Facebook or Twitter. Tag so we can see what you’re up to and cheer you on.


Print and post one of these signs telling everyone at school, the office, or even the grocery store how they can help give water.