World Water Week

It's World Water Week folks. A time in which we're asked to reflect upon the scarcity of clean water throughout many parts of the globe and its impact on young children.

For me, this week of the year is especially impact-ful.

By the time I met my biological family, I was already cooking in New York and had begun my work with UNICEF.

Seeing my little sisters, Ashou and Tigi (ages 6 and 8 at the time), they were the exact people that the UNICEF programs were targeting.

They were little but strong and every morning, it was up to them to wake up at 3:00am to retrieve a day's worth of water for the entire family, from a source about 2 hours away.

Water to drink. Water to cook. Water to clean.

Just think of the many ways you use water on a daily basis..

It's one thing to participate in a charity event at a beautiful venue in New York or wherever, completely detached from the reality I felt standing beside my father's mud hut in one of Ethiopia's many villages.

Being there, seeing the truths of the matter firsthand made it all the more personal for me.

Thankfully, I'm Ashou and Tigi's older brother and when they need things, it's not a problem for me to help.

But what about the other 300 million children around the world?

That's what makes programs like the Tap Project so important. It's UNICEF's grassroots effort to make clean water readily accessible everywhere and decreasing the rate of waterborne illnesses, the second highest rate cause of preventable childhood deaths.

We can all do our part. At many restaurants across the country, Red Rooster included, you can donate a $1 or more for the tap water you normally receive at no cost at all. Check out participating restaurants here.

You can also text the word "TAP" to UNICEF (864233) to make a $10 donation or donate online to

Thank you to US Fund for UNICEF for all of its efforts and a special thanks to all of the participating restaurants for sharing the message with their customers!

I'm heading to Boston this weekend for the FACE Africa Gala, where I'm being honored. I'm excited and really looking forward to it.