Twestival: One Cause, One Worldwide Event for Clean Water

Last October I started tweeting–that’s sending messages to people that follow me in less than 140 characters. Twitter, is a social networking tool I use to engage people in causes I care about, exchange ideas, learn and connect with new people. One of the new “tweeps” I connected with is Michelle Greer in Austin, TX. She’s the local organizer for the global event, Twestival. I follow her updates and know that she’s passionate about the impact that Twestival is going to make. So I sent her a DM (direct message) to ask her more about the event and this is what she had to say….

Michelle, tell us about yourself

I am a freelance marketing consultant and blogger for the Science Channel’s

What is Twestival?

Twestival is a meeting organized by Twitter users that is occurring in over 175 cities all over the world on February 12. Each city is trying to raise money for Charity: Water, a non-profit that gives money to fund water projects all over the world. It started in London last year, and they liked the concept so much, they asked other cities to join this year. Whether you are in Bangalore, Adelaide, Buenos Aires, New York City, Paris, or Dubai, you can get together to raise money for this very important cause.

Where is it happening?

Austin’s Twestival is happening at Ace’s Lounge on 6th Street. Their manager Jason is awesome.

How did you get involved in it?

I was picked. My friend Bill Erickson told the London organizer Amanda Rose that I might be game for something like this. I wasn’t going to do it because as I’m sure you are aware of, sometimes it’s a bit hard to motivate people to focus on the big picture. But I had friends like David Neff, Mike Chapman, Jason Stoddard and Joe Doyle who offered help, so it was hard to say no.

Why did you get involved in it?

I went to Charity: Water’s site and saw just how bad the problem is. Sometimes I worry about my finances, but at least I can go to a water fountain and not worry about getting typhoid. We genuinely have no conception about how truly blessed we are in this country and how much we have to offer those who need it most.

Why do you think this cause is important?

The lack of clean drinking water kills more people than all wars combined. It kills 4,500 children a day! Water is the most fundamental necessity of human life. It’s hard to enjoy frivolous comforts when you know someone else out there can’t get something to drink. Humanitarian aid such as water relief are not merely morality issues though. Colin Powell has made the point that fighting poverty is a matter of national defense. It is hard to want to destroy a country that spends more money fighting poverty than it does on bombs. No one wants to harbor terrorists that want to destroy the biggest benevolent power in the world. Ensuring that people are safe around the world ensures that we are safe. It is a win/win for everyone. I have no idea why we wouldn’t spend more time and money alleviating poverty, especially when we know how people are suffering because of this issue.

This is truly a civil/human rights issue.

It is so easy to give people clean water and yet, the number of people who don’t have it would equal 44 times the population of Texas. I won’t go into too much detail, but the lack of clean water basically causes people to die of stomach flu and diarrhea and one in six people on this planet face this risk every single day. As a human being, I have no idea how you could know how serious this problem is and not do something.

What can people do to help?

Please come to Twestival and tell all your friends and family to come as well. We’ve tried to make it easy for you to promote. We have sumo suit wrestling, a great R&B band T-Bird and the Breaks, $2 draft beers and Firefly sweet tea vodka drinks. All of this of course was donated, so 100 percent of all ticket sales go to Charity: Water. That means by buying tickets to this party, you could be giving clean water to someone for 18 years. How cool is that?

Here’s where you buy tickets:

Any additional comments?

I’m really tired. (It’s 1:40am)

Go to the main Twestival website to see if you’re city’s hosting a Twestival event. We’ll see everyone at the Austin Twestival!