Google offers funds to Students for Clean Water

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Google is giving a UT student organization an opportunity to raise up to $40,000 toward their cause of providing clean water to schools in developing countries.

The company will donate $1 to Students for Clean Water every time a student uses Hotpot, Google’s new initiative that allows users to rate their favorite local businesses. Hotpot gives personalized results to people based on their tastes and recommendations.

“We thought teaming up with an active, energetic student group in this way would really motivate everyone to get involved in a good cause,” said Vanessa Schneider, the Community Manager for Hotpot.

Students for Clean Water, a student group formed in the fall, works to get clean water to countries who lack safe drinking water by fundraising. They specifically aim to build wells at schools, the organization’s spokesman Chris Nguyen said.

“We really think water is something that can make living so much easier, and students shouldn’t have to worry about water, they should just be learning,” Nguyen said. “If students learn better, then they get better jobs and have a better future.”

The money raised will go to the nonprofit organization charity: water. Nguyen and club president Blake Mankin said they hope this campaign will help spread awareness about the organization and the issue of lack of clean water. Nguyen said although a number of people have attended their meetings, he hopes the drive will increase student participation.

“Almost a billion people in the world lack access to clean water, and a lack of access to clean water kills more people than all forms of violence, including war,” Mankin said. “As an organization, we’re really frustrated about that and we seek to raise money to help developing countries get clean water for the first time.”

Mankin said the organization will most likely reach their $40,000 goal.

“This is really one of the easiest ways you can give money to help with this problem because you don’t even have to open your wallet,” Mankin said.

The campaign started Monday and will end March 10.

“I think that it’s so exciting because it really gives us an awesome platform for raising awareness and money at the same time because of how far reaching the Internet is and how easy it is for us to market this online and to our friends,” Mankin said. “Specifically, we want to show people how easy it is to be involved and how easy it is to be part of the solution.”