Members of the Smile Generation family recently joined charity: water, a nonprofit organization focused on bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, and actor Will Smith and his wife Jada on a trip to Ethiopia to see the impact of their efforts to raise funds and awareness for water projects in Tigray, Ethiopia.
The group visited with communities benefiting from new wells, saw the organization's drilling rig in action, and spent time with villagers who are waiting for clean water.
In 2010, the Smiths gave up their birthdays for charity and promised to take the top fundraisers to Africa to see the work firsthand, and more than $679,000 was raised through 2,013 campaigns. The Smiths' own birthday campaign raised an additional $109,000.
The Smile Generation was one of the top fundraisers in the birthday campaign. John Nosti, DDS, of San Marcos Dental Group and Orthodontics, a Smile-Generation approved office, joined charity: water and the Smiths on the trip.
The group witnessed the 31st dig of the nonprofit's brand-new drilling rig, Yellow Thunder, in Meago village. Most of the people there were used to walking three hours round-trip for water, but thanks to combined fundraising efforts, this village of more than 400 people will now have access to clean water.