Foundation to donate $100,000 to WaterPartners International

The Reader's Digest Foundation (RDF) announced that it will donate $100,000 to WaterPartners International, a U.S.-based organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. This unrestricted grant is the third in a series of ten $100,000 grants that RDF plans to make to a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout the year as part of its Make it Matter initiative. Ultimately, the Foundation will donate $1 million through Make it Matter...

• Grant made as part of foundation's $1 million 'Make it Matter' initiative

NEW YORK, NY, May 19, 2008 -- The Reader's Digest Foundation (RDF) announced that it will donate $100,000 to WaterPartners International, a U.S.-based organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. This unrestricted grant is the third in a series of ten $100,000 grants that RDF plans to make to a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout the year as part of its Make it Matter initiative. Ultimately, the Foundation will donate $1 million through Make it Matter.

The grant to WaterPartners is given in honor of Patty Hall, a teacher at Highview Middle School in New Brighton, Minnesota. During the 2006/07 school year, Patty and her students created H2O for Life, an organization that works to provide clean water to school children around the world. They formed H2O for Life in response to a plea Patty received from an acquaintance in Kenya about a village there desperate for a dam to be built after their water source dried up. Patty's students took up the cause, selling crafts, holding concerts and more to raise funds. In just six months, they ended up with more than $12,000 and were able to provide the village with an eight-foot-high structure that traps and filters water, providing clean drinking water all year round. Since that time, H2O for Life has expanded to 14 schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and raised $130,000 to bring safe water to communities in Africa and Central America.

Make it Matter is a program of RDF dedicated to creating opportunities and promoting efforts that encourage individuals to make a positive difference in their communities. RDF considers the public's stories of giving back and chooses one each month that embodies the RDF mission and serves as an inspiration to others. For each Make it Matter story, RDF will donate $100,000 to a nonprofit organization that furthers the cause. Submissions from the public can be directed to http://www.rd.com/foundation.

"We are proud to support the life-saving efforts of WaterPartners International," said Susan Fraysse Russ, executive director, Reader's Digest Foundation. "The lack of clean water is one of the major issues of our time, and the work of WaterPartners, and individuals like Patty Hall and her students, in whose honor this grant is made, is absolutely critical. Confronting the global water crisis will require a worldwide effort, but it all begins with individuals, which is the premise of Make it Matter."

"When $25 can bring someone safe water for life, the actions of one individual really can make all the difference in the world to a person in need," said Gary White, executive director, WaterPartners International. "We're grateful to the Reader's Digest Foundation for this incredible opportunity, made possible by the vision of Patty Hall and her students, to transform the lives of hundreds of individuals with safe water access and to raise awareness about this most important issue."

Reader's Digest magazine is lending its support to the Foundation's program by highlighting the stories of the selected individuals in its monthly "Make it Matter" column. Many of the submissions, including those that do not lead to a grant, will be featured on www.rd.com.

Submissions for Make it Matter will be accepted by the Foundation on a rolling basis throughout 2008.

The Reader's Digest Foundation, started in 1938, is dedicated to creating opportunities and promoting efforts that encourage individuals to make a positive difference in their communities, and to supporting programs designed to help young people learn, grow and enrich their lives.

WaterPartners International is a U.S.-based non-profit organization that provides safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries.

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