Tuesday, January 27, 2009

UNICEF Tap Project Returns to Cincinnati - March 2009

After a successful nationwide expansion in 2008, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF announced today the return of the Tap Project® during World Water Week 2009 (March 22-28). The Tap Project, a grassroots initiative to provide clean water to children around the world, invites individuals to donate $1or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free at participating restaurants. Lack of clean water is the second largest killer of children under five.

Now in its third year, the Tap Project will again be a national campaign with additional efforts in Canada and Puerto Rico.

This year’s Tap Project will kick off on Sunday, March 22nd –the beginning of World Water Week— with the 2009 Tap Project Water Walks. The youth and family oriented events are scheduled to take place in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles and in addition to launching Tap nationwide, are meant to introduce and mobilize a tradition of giving among young people.

National corporate partners this year include American Express, water technology manufacturer, The Watergeeks Laboratories and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

As with years past, participating restaurants will receive a toolkit containing materials which include all the resources necessary to execute the Tap Project by engaging customers to support UNICEF water programs by adding a donation of $1.00 per person to their bill.

Since its inception in 2007, the Tap Project has raised nearly $1 million to provide children in countries such as Belize, Cote D’Ivoire, Guatemala, Iraq, Laos and Nicaragua access to clean drinking water. In 2008 alone, the Tap Project recruited more than 2,300 participating U.S. restaurants from 44 states and over 2,200 volunteers, marking it the largest volunteer mobilization effort for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF since Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.

The Tap Project is the first of its kind – a national grassroots effort offering individuals and restaurants across the nation a simple and effective way to make a difference in a child’s life.

Twenty one of the nation’s leading creative agencies in 19 major media markets are creating pro-bono ad campaigns that will place the Tap Project on everything from
t-shirts and taxi tops to billboards and major landmarks. Thirteen of the agencies involved participated in the 2008 Tap Project and are returning for a second year.

The agencies are: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York; Hill Holiday, Boston; Empower Media Marketing, Cincinnati; Energy BBDO, Chicago; Publicis Mid America, Dallas; TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles; Trumpet, New Orleans; Fishtank, San Diego; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; Cargo, South Carolina; Publicis West & Publicis Consultants PR, Seattle; Nonbox, Milwaukee; Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter, Richmond; U1 Design, Atlanta; Suckle, Denver; RR Partners, Las Vegas; BYU Adlab, Utlah; GMMB, Washington, D.C.; Populicom, Puerto Rico and two multicultural agencies – Groupo Gallegos representing the west coast and Casanova representing the east coast.

Nearly 900 million people do not have access to clean water, with young children the first to get sick and die from waterborne and sanitation-related illnesses—including diarrheal diseases and malaria.

“Access to clean, plentiful tap water is something so many in the United States take for granted yet the lack of clean and accessible drinking water is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths of millions of children throughout the world,” said Caryl Stern, president and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “We witnessed unbelievable support from volunteers, restaurants and consumers last year, and are certain the 2009 Tap Project will bring even more interest, furthering our goal to reduce the number of needless deaths to zero.”

UNICEF works in more than 90 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. However, every day, 4,200 children die of water-related diseases. UNICEF’s goal is to reduce the number of needless deaths to zero. With $1, UNICEF can provide 40 liters of safe drinking water, which is enough to give one child safe drinking water for 40 days.

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

For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world’s leading international children’s organization, working in over 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water, education, protection and emergency response saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. While millions of children die every year of preventable causes like dehydration, upper respiratory infections and measles, UNICEF, with the support of partnering organizations and donors alike, has the global experience, resources and reach to give children the best hope of survival. For more information about UNICEF, please 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.

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