I gave up my birthday for charity: water, and, so far, 36 contributions have been made totaling more than $1,600. That’s enough to bring clean water to 25 people. Even though my birthday has passed already, donations can still go toward my campaign until August 9.

I am amazed at how many of my friends and family have donated. When I started my campaign I was asked to list a goal. I put down $1,000, thinking that was high enough to be a real challenge. There aren’t that many people in my life who would normally give me a birthday gift, so I didn’t expect much of a response. When donations started rolling in pretty quickly I realized I needed a bigger goal. I would rather aim high and fall short than aim low and reach it. I wrote down $2,000 and divided that by 49, the amount I was asking for my 49th birthday. That’s almost 41, so I decided to just multiply 49 by 49 and reset my goal to $2,401.

Several who donated to my campaign have already created their own birthday campaign. Looks like I’ll be giving back again, and gladly, when all these other birthdays roll around. Seeing my friends get excited enough about this charity to donate their birthdays, too, is as gratifying as them donating to my campaign.

Last week I came across the Charity Navigator web site which provides an independent, objective evaluation of charities. It’s an interesting site and well worth exploring to find out how they rate any charities you support or are considering. I was pleased to see charity: water was rated as one of the top overall charities in the nation.

And, just this morning I received an email from charity: water with this great new 3-minute video telling the founder’s story:

If you’re looking for a charity to support that you can be proud of, one that’s taking on a big problem and doing it in a transparent and awesome way, please check out charity: water.