Getting teens and tweens interested in the world around them is a challenge. After all, the world revolves around them and their circle of friends. Sometimes it takes celebrities to bring attention to a cause that is truly worthwhile, like clean drinking water. Will your teenager jump at the chance to give up his birthday gift so a village in Africa can have clean drinking water? I doubt it. Mention that Matt Damon, Alyssa Milano, Kristen Bell, and Adrian Greiner are supporters and you may inspire a willing sacrifice.

Clean Water Isn't a Given

Nearly one billion people in the world don't have access to clean drinking water. Charity: Water and Water.org address this issue by bringing deep water wells to villages that have no access to clean drinking water, where the women and children travel miles to fetch polluted water. Villagers get sick and die from diseases like E.Coli, Salmonella, Cholera, and Hepatitis A.

More people die from dirty drinking water than from war.

The really heartbreaking thing is that 90% of the 42,000 deaths that occur weekly are children under the age of five. Share this statistic with your teen and see if you've hit a nerve.

Pledge Your Birthday

The solution is relatively simple: Get enough wells to provide sustainable living conditions for people in these villages. Your teen can help in a very personal way. Charity: Water is challenging us to pledge our birthdays. Instead of receiving gifts, your teen can have his birthday gift be a donation to raise money for a well.

Take your teen to the websites and explore the videos. Once they see how dire the circumstance is, and how relatively easy it is for them to help, they can be very easily inspired to do something. Charity: Water also has a section to sign up that works like a social network (i.e., Facebook). You and your child can come up with any fund raising idea that interests you (such as running, biking, swimming — you get the idea), and people can sign in and sponsor you. It's a wonderful way to teach kids about the power of giving and the instant impact one can have on a community. There's even a little box that tells how many people have clean water under the dollar amount you've raised.

Here's a fun Beck Video that shows how Charity: Water works.

While your teen may not raise the nearly $100,000 Alyssa Milano raised, you will be able to show him how infectious giving is, and to look at the world beyond our privileged borders.

And if even after watching the videos, your teen doesn't want to sacrifice a birthday, there are many other simple, inexpensive things on the site that raise money for the cause. My favorite is the T-shirt designed by Saks Fifth Avenue. At $20, it's not a bad price, and knowing that $12 of that goes to bring clean drinking water, I could wear that shirt proudly. I'm sure your teen will, too.

charity: water 2010 September Campaign: Clean Water for the Bayaka from charity: water on Vimeo.

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