[Tap Project] Reeling in the restaurants

It was soooo easy! In less than an hour, I recruited three restaurants in my New York City neighborhood to participate in the Tap Project. All I did was explain how simple it is to join, the free publicity Tap Project generates through websites and local media, and all the good a one dollar donation can do (for example, with one dollar UNICEF can provide up to 40 gallons of clean, drinking water). And voila! They registered.

[Tap Project] Register for NYC Tap Project Water Walk for Kids!

students in the Big Apple have helped organize the NYC Tap Project Water Walk. On March 15, families and kids from fourth to twelfth grade will carry up to a gallon of water in a gesture of solidarity with children who must fetch water every day. These students are helping fund UNICEF programs through sponsorships. And a little goes a long way! For example, with a dollar UNICEF can provide 40 liters of safe drinking water.

[In the Field] Lucy Liu visits "Maria's Children" in Moscow

UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu recently visited a UNICEF-sponsored program for orphans and children with disabilities in Moscow, Russia and shares her experience in the following post. Last week I was in Russia, and on Friday I had a chance to visit UNICEF's "Maria's Children" project in Moscow. The facility is in a basement in the center of the city and has two small rooms where orphans and children with disabilities can go and express themselves through art. In addition to the art facilities, they also teach children cooking and other life skills to help them once they "graduate" from the facility.

Coming soon: Clay Aiken's Holiday Album

It's been awhile in the making, but we're just putting the final touches on Clay's album of photos from his holiday visit with kids at UNICEF programs in Mexico. Everyone who donated $50 or more to Clay's appeal for Mexico will be getting a link to a PDF of the album this week via e-mail -- and signed copies for folks who were able to give $1,000 or more will be going out by postal mail shortly. Keep an eye open for yours!

[Tap Project] Tap is on!

Dina Montes is on staff at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and will be blogging regularly about the Tap Project. This is her first post.

The word on the Tap Project is pouring out.

With World Water Day just a month away, newspapers and magazines articles are generating buzz. The March issue of Family Circle reminds readers to save the date (March 22) for Tap, while a Feb. 13 article in the New York Times business section covers the U.S. Fund's partnership with 14 top advertising agencies across the country and the cool, cutting-edge ad copy created in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago. The fabulous work is pro-bono, which means more money goes straight to UNICEF water programs!

[In the Field] Jenna Bush's notes from Pisco and Chincha, Peru

Jenna Bush, former UNICEF intern and author of Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, based on her work with UNICEF, is visiting UNICEF programs in Peru and blogging from the field. This is her third entry. Today started early; at six in the morning we were up preparing for a visit to the provinces of Chincha and Pisco, two areas that faced serious damage after an earthquake affected the region on August 15th. Although the sun had just risen above the grey water of the Pacific, our two-hour drive South to Chincha was filled with energy and anticipation.

[In the Field] Jenna Bush's notes from Lima, Peru

Jenna Bush, former UNICEF intern and author of Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, based on her work with UNICEF, is visiting UNICEF programs in Peru and blogging from the field. This is her second entry. We woke to the sun breaking through the clouds of the Andes and flew to Lima for a day visiting urban programs. As we drove through the crowded city, passing large buses and motor taxis, mothers and children I was struck by the stark difference between the isolated, slow life in the communities outside of Cusco and the congested city life.

[In the Field] Jenna Bush's notes from Huancarani, Peru

Jenna Bush is visiting UNICEF programs in Peru and blogging from the field. This is her first entry. The low clouds hung over the mountains as we drove from the center of Cusco up the rolling hills to the rural village of Huancarcani. The two and a half-hour drive through winding cliffs to the elevated community which sits at 38,000 feet keeps the villagers isolated from the city life below. The village's economy is the fifth poorest of the 1,831 municipalities in Peru. We have come for a full day in the village: first a meeting with local political figures, then to tour an innovative health center, and finally a visit to a children's defense center.

Thank you from Clay Aiken

In December, UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken visited children affected by the recent flooding in Mexico and made an appeal for $100,000 to support UNICEF programs. Well, you did it again! I asked you to join me in supporting UNICEF programs in Mexico this holiday season and you exceeded my expectations. More than $100,000 before the end of the year--AMAZING! Thank you all so much.