Looking for last-minute holiday gift ideas? How about a gift that gives back? Finding a last-minute gift for someone who already has everything is a challenge. You could go the gift card route. That’s always a favorite. Even if you do choose to go that way, I still like to give something a little more meaningful.

Credit: WaterAid Photographer Guilhem Alandry

Jacinta Zelinto’s daughter Elverina collects dirty water at the source in Namissimbe, Niassa, Mozambique, July 2014. Credit: WaterAid Photographer Guilhem Alandry


There’s nothing more meaningful in this world than water. Nothing. No person on this planet can survive without it. Yet, according to WaterAid America, 748 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. That’s about 10% of the world’s population!

Give Water, Give Life with WaterAid America’s Child of Mine Campaign

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Jacinta Zelinto’s baby son Salvadore drinks from a cup of dirty water at home in the village of Namissimbe, Niassa, Mozambique, July 2014. Credit: WaterAid/ Guilhem Alandry

This holiday season, WaterAid America is trying to raise enough money to provide safe¬† water to 100,000 children across the world. Did you know that more than 500,000 children die every year because they don’t have safe water? That averages out to over 1,400 children each day. Every day. Even on Christmas Day.

WaterAid is trying to change the cycle of unsafe water for these children, but it’s not as easy as just flying in some water purification tablets or bottled water. The problem extends deeper than that. Unsafe water often comes from poor (or no) sanitation systems. Millions of people have no access to a clean, working bathroom. When you’re using nature as your bathroom, it’s too easy for human waste to get washed into your water supply. In developed areas, we have water treatment plants or special parts in our home plumbing to remove contamination. In areas with unsafe water, they obviously don’t have these necessities. WaterAid’s mission is to bring long-term safe water solutions to these areas.

How can you help?

Ready to help WaterAid in their Child of Mine campaign? It’s as easy as visiting the WaterAid site and clicking on the big yellow Donate Now button in the upper right corner. Choose one of the preset amounts or insert your own amount. Make a one-time gift or a monthly gift. At the bottom, choose to give the gift in honor of another person, then let your recipient know that you’ve helped give safe drinking water to a child in need in her name. A clever way to do it: wrap your donation receipt page around a reusable water bottle!

The gift of safe drinking water really is a beautiful last-minute gift idea. Nothing is more meaningful than a gift that saves lives.