Water For People reports record fundraising year despite tough economic times

DENVER, CO, July 13, 2009 -- Despite tough economic times, people are finding a place in their hearts to donate to a cause in which they believe: safe drinking water and sanitation...

DENVER, CO, July 13, 2009 -- Despite tough economic times, people are finding a place in their hearts to donate to a cause in which they believe: safe drinking water and sanitation. Generous employees of several large corporations have supported Water For People in a record fundraising year.

Employees from CH2M HILL, a global full-service engineering, consulting, procurement, construction, and operations firm, raised more than $229,000 through online donations, personal checks, fundraising events and payroll deductions. Elisa Speranza, a CH2M HILL executive who also is the president of Water For People's board of directors, said, "We are especially gratified by the participation from many in our offices outside of North America this year. Even in this economy, our people remain committed to bringing clean water and sanitation to those most in need, and are willing to open their hearts and their wallets."

American Water, the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, also donated over $216,000 to Water For People through its company-wide 2009 fundraising campaign. More than $140,000 of that was raised from employee contributions through personal checks and payroll deductions. "I cannot understate Water For People's tremendous work throughout much of the developing world in securing quality water and health resources for those who strongly and urgently need it," said Ellen Wolf, senior vice president and chief financial officer of American Water, chair of the company's 2009 giving campaign, and a member of Water For People's board of directors. "Every year American Water employees proudly contribute to the important efforts of Water For People through creative fundraising campaigns and events."

"Water For People's roots are in the North American water and wastewater community, and they remain our core supporters every year," said Ned Breslin, chief executive officer of Water For People. "We are proud to be their charity of choice and are continually awed by their generosity and devotion to our mission. We wouldn't be where we are today if it wasn't for the employees of companies like CH2M HILL and American Water."

These companies aren't alone in their employees' support of Water For People. In fact, Water For People expects additional workplace giving donations this year from groups across the country including Denver Water, CDM, Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, Brown and Caldwell, and Las Vegas Valley Water District. Their donations through personal checks, fundraising events, online donations, and payroll deductions will help support Water For People's work in 10 developing countries around the world.

Founded in 1991, Water For People is a nonprofit international development organization that supports safe drinking water and sanitation projects in developing countries. Water For People partners with communities, local governments, and other nongovernmental organizations to help people improve their quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs. Water For People supports communities with professional development advice, financial support and volunteer technical services. Typical technologies employed include protected spring-fed community water systems, gravity-fed systems, wells with hand pumps, latrine construction, operator training and hygiene education. Water For People is currently working in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In 2008, Water For People supported the provision of safe and sustainable drinking water resources benefiting 91,722 people in the developing world, sanitation facilities benefiting 92,983, and hygiene education benefiting 153,843 people.

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