Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith Bring Smiles to Ethiopia

Clean water. We often take it for granted. But for many people in developing countries, access to clean, safe drinking water does not exist. charity:water is a non-profit organization whose aim is to bring clean water to these people through public donations that fund water projects. One way people can help raise funds is to Give up a Birthday.

The actors Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith did exactly that in 2010. They gave up their birthdays for charity: water and raised more than 00,000 for clean water. For the past year, they inspired their fans to start their own fundraising campaigns to bring clean water to people in need, by sponsoring a contest, in which, the top three fundraisers would accompany them on a trip to Africa.

The Smile Generation was one of the top three fundraisers and last week, Director of Marketing Matt Hall and Dr. John Nosti of San Marcos Dental Group and Orthodontics, a Smile Generation-approved office, accompanied the Smiths and the other winners to Ethiopia to check on the new drilling rig in Tigray. According to Matt: “This photo was taken during the inaugural pumping at the village. The entire community showed up for a celebration singing and dancing.” To view more photos, please visit our slideshow on Flickr.

The following video captures the smiles and more importantly the deep impact that a charity:water project can have not only on its beneficiaries but on any witnesses to the event. See if you can spot the yellow Smile Generation t-shirt next to Will Smith.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith visit charity: water projects in Ethiopia from charity: water on Vimeo.

According to Dr. John Nosti: “The best part of the trip was seeing the difference that clean water makes. There is so much poverty in Ethiopia; however, seeing the difference that clean water can make left me feeling optimistic.”