IRVINE, Calif., July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of The Smile Generation family recently traveled with charity: water and Jada and Will to Ethiopia to see the impact of their efforts to raise funds and awareness for water projects in Tigray, Ethiopia. The group visited with communities benefiting from new wells, saw charity: water's drilling rig in action, and spent time with villagers who are waiting for clean water.
In 2010, the Smiths gave up their birthdays for charity: water and inspired thousands of fans to do the same. They promised to take the top fundraisers to Africa to see the work firsthand, and more than $679,000 was raised through 2,013 campaigns. Jada and Will's own birthday campaign raised an additional $109,000, and 100% of the money raised was used for clean water project costs in the field.
Says Will Smith: "Our trip to Ethiopia with charity: water was an incredibly eye-opening and authentic experience. It was extraordinary to meet and spend time with the people of Tigray and to see first-hand how clean water changes everything for these communities."
The Smile Generation was one of the top fundraisers in the birthday campaign. Dr. John Nosti, San Marcos Dental Group and Orthodontics, a Smile-Generation approved office, and Director of Marketing Matt Hall, joined charity: water and the Smiths on the trip.
"It makes you proud of the work Smile Generation-approved doctors and offices have done in the continual fundraising for such a worthwhile cause. I wish I could take them all with me to Ethiopia to see the wells. When you meet the people you're providing a better life for, it is very special," said Director of Marketing Matt Hall.
The group witnessed the 31st dig of charity: water's brand new drilling rig, Yellow Thunder, in Meago village. Most of the people there were used to walking three hours round trip for water, but thanks to combined fundraising efforts, this village of more than 400 people will now have access to clean water.
"The best part of the trip was seeing the difference that clean water makes," said Dr. John Nosti, San Marcos Dental Group and Orthodontics. "charity: water took us through six different villages so we could see water wells in different stages - there was need everywhere we looked. As a dentist, you can't help but ask yourself how you can give back. The trip was truly an amazing experience."
Ethiopia is nestled in the Horn of Africa and is the most populated landlocked country in the world. More than 50 million people here live without access to clean and safe drinking water. In Tigray alone, charity: water has funded more than 1,000 water projects with the expertise of their partner, A Glimmer of Hope, and their implementing partner, Relief Society of Tigray.
About Smile Generation
Smile Generation is a referral service for best-in-class dentists committed to modern dentistry and patients' happiness. The Smile Generation connects patients with great dentists dedicated to delivering on the Right Fit promise: providing an exceptional patient experience and advanced clinical care. The Smile Generation family is made up of nearly 300 dental offices throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Utah. Smile Generation-approved offices are supported by Pacific Dental Services (PDS™).
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About charity: water
charity: water (charitywater.org) is a non-profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of the money raised goes directly to project costs, funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need. When projects are completed, charity: water proves each one with GPS coordinates and photos published publicly on Google Maps. In just under 6 years, charity: water has funded more than 6,000 water projects to serve 2.5 million people in 20 countries with access to clean water. For more information on charity: water and media inquiries, contact: email@example.com or phone (646) 688-2323.
SOURCE Smile Generation