How far would you go for clean water?
(All images in this post from Charity:Water’s 2010 Haiti trip.)

Updates to the Birthday Swim Campaign!

I’ve got some pretty good news. So exciting, I can barely stand it.  Six weeks ago we set out to raise $29,000 for my 29th birthday Charity: Water birthday fundraiser. Did I think I could do it? Um, No. I had no idea if I could do it, and I wondered whether we’d be able to raise even raise $290.

It was pretty nerve-wracking. I made a big statement: I said I’d swim naked from Alcatraz to San Francisco–if we raised the sum total of 29 big thousands.

So where are we today, six weeks later?

Today,we’re at $16,400!

(Holy shit, Sherlock! That’s no chump change!) We’ve been covered in the Huffington Post by MeiMei Fox’s Life Out Loud column, featured on Matt Madeiro’s Make Every Day Count list,and on Joshua Becker’s Becoming Minimalist Blog. Last week, James Clear interviewed me for Passive Panda for some behind-the-scenes knowledge about what it takes to raise a large chunk of change–we talk about the art of storytelling, bringing people together, and asking multiple times.

We’ve had incredible donations so far, including:

  • The largest individual donation to date ~ $2929.29, which was donated on July 29th at 2:29 AM.
  • An anonymous donor gave another $1000 to the campaign.
    Big Wheel Brigade, is matching up to 100 donations of $29 (That’s $2900!!) for the campaign (they’ve already matched 27 donations).
  • Bikini Fling (UK) sent me a hot little polka-dot bikini for me to practice swimming in.
  • Everest, a team devoted to unlocking human potential and finding ways for people to live their dreams, donated financially AND are offering prizes for the raffle (see below).
  • And a million more prizes and donations! (See below).

We’ve had 292 different donations come in from more than 350 people, reaching nearly 900 people already.  In our quest to reach 1000 people willing to donate $29, we are well over halfway there.

If you wonder what the dollars do, below are a few photographs from one of the Charity: Water trips to Haiti and the communities and lives changed by building clean water infrastructure into their lives. All of their overhead costs are covered by private donations and sponsors, so your dollars go directly to charity – 100% of them (For the fiscal accounting of their charity, see the 100% model and how it works, here)

But Sarah, what about the rest of it? You’ve still got $12,600 to raise.

It’s true: we’ve still got a lot more money to raise. I’m still looking for companies to sponsor or donate $290-$2900 towards the campaign.

I’m also asking everyone I know to consider donating $29, $58, or $290 towards the campaign for clean water.

If we raise $29,000, we’ll reach a total of 1450 people in 5 different communities, changing their lives forever.

You’re invited to The Water Party.

To continue to raise money, several wonderful friends in San Francisco are helping me throw a party in the name of this event: Dubbed “The Water Party,” we’re throwing a massive, amazing party in San Francisco with live music, dancing, drinks, food, and a room full of the most wonderful people I know.

And you’re invited, of course!

There are 100 available tickets for people in the San Francisco Bay Area and we’d love for you to come. 

The entire party will be donation-based, with the venue 100% donated and hosted by the Go Game headquarters. There will be live music-–also donated in the name of charity–by Jules Larson. All of the drinks and food will be donation-based and sponsored by vendors who are supporting the cause.

And there will be prizes. LOTS OF PRIZES. From 6-months of free membership to Crunch, to Dream Series with Everest, to Xola adventures, to free virtual assistants from Zirtual to tickets to major events from Eventbrite, to restaurant certificates at West of Pecos and discounts at Sports Basement and coupons to major retailers throughout San Francisco and beyond–everyone who buys a ticket to get in the door gets a free drink, free food, and at least one raffle ticket.

So far, we have more than a dozen prizes worth over $100 (some worth at least $500) to raffle off at the party and we are still having LOTS of prizes roll in. For the complete list of prizes, keep your eyes tuned to the EventBrite page.

SO, if you haven’t donated yet, and you want to come to the party, consider donating $29–$87 (or more!) and having all of your dollars go straight to charity. The best part? You get to enjoy an amazing party with some of of my favorite movers and shakers in San Francisco.

Buy a party ticket, here:

Can’t come to the party, but still want to donate? Rad! Do it here: 

Tentative list of prizes and sponsors:

  • Crunch Gym in San Francisco is donating a free 6-month membership and a free training session as prize money!
  • Xola pitched in $150 of prize money towards an adventure or extreme sports activity!
  • Sports Basement donated 30 individual 10% off coupons for shoppers to use before October 31st, and an additional 10% of each purchase will be donated to charity.
  • Bikini Fling in UK sent over a swimsuit for me to wear during — or put on after — the swim.
  • Getaround, the San Francisco car-sharing startup, is matching my car rental earnings during the month of August!
  • You can also win 2 hours in a Tesla Roadster from Getaround 
  • I’m also using, a place to get advice from your network of experts, to donate all calls made during August to Charity:Water. (Got a question or want advice? Sign up! We’ll chat.)
  • Zirtual, a team that makes your life easier with virtual assistants, said they love crazy dreams and ambitious plans, so they’re on board to contribute to make this dream a little easier (Or making my life harder by getting me to do the swim…)
  • West of Pecos donated $50 certificate for dinner in San Francisco for another lucky winner
  • American Laser is offering multiple prizes — the largest at $1500 — off of skincare services.
  • Sponsorfied is helping to organize the food, drinks, and plethora of alcoholic beverages!
  • Eventbrite is waiving fees from the tickets AND offering event tickets as prizes
  • Tickets to the Dream Series from Everest — make your dreams and ideas reality.
  • Free swim lessons and advanced stroke-training for triathletes and athletes
  • Major discounts to major retailers (Swim Outlet, Sports Basement, and more!)
  • And many more … still to be announced!

We’re almost there. $16,400 and counting. Check out the new Facebook page to follow the contributions (and maybe hear details on the swim, if it happens!)

Let’s make it rain.

Live while you still have the chance. 

With love,

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