All of us here are baseball nuts. We spend far too much time thinking, talking, and writing about the game. However, for each of us, baseball is still just a part of our lives. So, for a moment, I want to take a break from talking to you guys about the Mariners and show you an opportunity to join with me on another part of my life.
One of the organizations I’m involved with is a non-profit group called ZAO Water. It was founded two years ago by a guy named Matt Peterson, who I’m proud to call a friend of mine, who believed he had an idea that could impact the world in a significant way. At its heart, ZAO is committed to providing fresh drinking water and sanitation to the impoverished nations of Africa. The numbers of diseases that have decimated Africa due to the lack of clean water are staggering:
2.3 billion people worldwide have a water-born disease.
5 million people a year die from water-born diseases (including cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, etc…). It is the number one killer of humans worldwide.
The W.H.O. estimates that by 2025, 2/3 of the worlds population will live in areas of water shortage.
The lack of access to fresh drinking water in Africa is a huge problem. It’s also one that isn’t that hard to fix. For less than $5,000, ZAO was able to hire local experts to go into the town of Ntagacha, Tanzania, and change the town’s access to fresh water. Three springs have been provided and a well has been dug, as well as several latrines, and community hygiene education was provided for the entire village. When hygiene education is teamed with access to fresh water, the health of a village can be increased by 85 percent.
In a short period of time, ZAO has already made a significant impact on parts of Tanzania. We are committed to seeing this through until the problem is eliminated. And this is where you guys come in.
In order to raise funds, ZAO has entered the retail bottled water business (again, as a non-profit organization). We have an artisan well in North Carolina and are working to build our own bottling facility which will allow us to produce millions of bottles of ZAO water every year for retail sale, competing with Dasani, Aquafina, Le Bleu, etc… The price for ZAO water is extremely competitive; $1 for a 15 ounce bottle or $9 for a 24-bottle case. The difference? Every dime of profit that comes from the sale of bottled ZAO water goes directly to providing fresh water for people who badly need it in Africa. You get water, they get water, and everyone wins. If you’re interested in ordering ZAO water for your business (or, if you’re just a very thirsty individual), the contact information will be at the end of this post.
Also, we’ve had an donor come forward and offer a donation challenge; he is going to match every dollar we raise through the end of the year with one of his own, up to $500,000. So, if we receive a half million dollars in donations between now and December 31st, he’s going to write us a check for $500,000. Essentially, every dollar donated to ZAO between now and the end of 2005 will be immediately doubled. And, of course, it is all tax deductible, and you will receive all the necessary reciepts to claim a deduction on your 2005 tax statement. If you would like to participate in the ZAO donor-match challenge, you can give directly through paypal.
ZAO’s administrative overhead is basically nil. What we receive goes to help those in need. It’s a great organization, one that I’m proud to be affiliated with, and one that I believe strongly in. We really do have a chance to change the course of a continent in our lifetimes. If you guys are interested in purchasing ZAO Water, helping to increase our distribution, or simply giving directly to the efforts, feel free to contact us through any of the ways provided below:
3812 Littlebrook Drive
Clemmons, NC, 27012
Any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.