2010 UNICEF Tap Project launches to help provide safe water to children worldwide

Now in its fourth year, the UNICEF Tap Project, a grassroots initiative from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, returns to cities nationwide during World Water Week 2010 (March 21-27). The UNICEF Tap Project invites individuals to donate $1 or more for tap water at participating restaurants or online at tapproject.org to provide clean water to children around the world.

Musician Pete Wentz to serve as campaign spokesperson

NEW YORK (March 11, 2010) Now in its fourth year, the UNICEF Tap Project, a grassroots initiative from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, returns to cities nationwide during World Water Week 2010 (March 21-27). The UNICEF Tap Project invites individuals to donate $1 or more for tap water at participating restaurants or online at tapproject.org to provide clean water to children around the world.

Musician/entrepreneur and social philanthropist Pete Wentz will serve as this year's campaign spokesperson. Wentz will be the face and voice of the campaign offering his support to raise awareness of the global water crisis and its impact on children. 

Since its inception in 2007, the UNICEF Tap Project has raised nearly $1.5 million in the U.S. to help provide clean water to millions of children around the world.  This year’s funds will primarily support Haiti, Central African Republic, Guatemala, Togo and Vietnam

"Lack of access to clean drinking water continues to be a leading killer for children under the age of five worldwide.  In Haiti alone, less than 60 percent of people had access to safe water even before the earthquake," said Caryl Stern, president and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "UNICEF Tap Project continues to be a simple, affordable and effective way to make a difference in a child’s life and with the generous support of volunteers, restaurants, corporations, ad agencies, celebrities and community leaders we will be able to continue in our mission to reduce the number of preventable deaths from 24,000 daily to zero." 

Giorgio Armani's men's fragrance, ACQUA DI GIO FOR MEN, is the 2010 National Supporter of the UNICEF Tap Project.  During the month of March, Armani will donate $1 for each purchase of Acqua di Gio for men fragrance sold in the U.S.  Armani will also donate $1 for each person who signs up as a friend on the Acqua di Gio Facebook page (www.facebook.com/acquadigio) during the month of March, up to $50,000.     
 
Corporate supporter, Turner Broadcasting has been integral to this year’s UNICEF Tap Project volunteer program.  International advertising agency, Droga5, national media partner, Mediavest, and advertising agencies across the nation, including: 1013 Integrated (Hawaii), BYU AdLab (Provo, UT), Casanova Pendrill (Hispanic—Los Angeles and New York), Publicis in the West (Seattle), Sukle Advertising & Design (Denver), TBWA\Chiat\Day (Los Angeles), VCU Brand Center (Richmond, VA), have generously donated their time and creativity.

Supporting the effort in the restaurant community are the UNICEF Tap Project’s promotional partners, ZAGAT.com, OpenTable.com, SeamlessWeb.com, and Yelp.com, spreading the word to restaurateurs and patrons alike.

There are nearly 3600 UNICEF Tap Project volunteers registered to date.  Critical to the success of the campaign, these volunteers are engaged nationally in activities such as restaurant recruitment and for the first year ever, they have expanded their efforts to include grassroots activities and events, such as “Tap at Night”, benefit concerts, community-based water walks, and creating their own events.  All proceeds raised by this corps of volunteers will benefit the UNICEF Tap Project. 

Approximately 900 million people worldwide lack access to clean water and nearly half of those people are children.  Young children are the first to get sick and die from waterborne and sanitation-related illnesses including diarrheal diseases and malaria. 

UNICEF works in more than 100 countries around the world to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities, and to promote safe hygiene practices. Over the past 15 years, more than a billion people gained access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities thanks to UNICEF’s efforts.  Every day, 24,000 children die of preventable causes, and UNICEF is committed to doing whatever it takes to make that number zero. With $1, UNICEF can provide one child access to safe, clean water for 40 days.   

For more information or to register as a volunteer, visit www.tapproject.org

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.

UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide.  There has been substantial progress—the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008.  But still, 24,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org

About World Water Day

In December of 1992, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22nd of each year World Day for Water. Countries were invited to devote the day to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness, conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources.