SOURCE: U.S. Fund for UNICEF

U.S. Fund for UNICEF

February 17, 2015 10:00 ET

UNICEF Tap Project Challenges Americans to Stop Using Their Phones to Provide 14 Million Days of Clean Water to Children

Tap App Unveils New Feature Allowing Friends and Family Members to Raise More Funds for Clean Water by Challenging Each Other to 'Unplug'

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - February 17, 2015) - The UNICEF Tap Project today announced its challenge to the American public: put down your phones and help save children's lives. The unique mobile experience aims to unlock 14 million days of clean, safe water for children around the world by encouraging Americans to stop texting, calling, emailing, tweeting and posting -- and challenging their friends to do the same.

748 million people around the globe do not have safe, clean water to drink, and more than 2.5 billion people live without a proper toilet. The lack of these basic necessities is not merely inconvenient -- it can be lethal. By simply logging onto UNICEFTapProject.org beginning March 1, Americans can work to change that and help to put children first. 

"Every day, almost 1,000 children under five die from diseases directly linked to unsafe water or a lack of basic sanitation facilities," said Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "Last year, more than 2.6 million people visited UnicefTapProject.org, then put their phones down to help provide clean water to children. We are working to inspire even more Americans this year to unplug and unlock the clean water that children need to survive and be healthy."

With just $1, UNICEF can provide one child with access to safe, clean water for 40 days. For every 15 minutes a user spends away from their cell phone, Giorgio Armani Fragrances, S'well®, UNICEF's Next Generation group of young entrepreneurs and other donors will provide the funding equivalent of one day of clean water for a child. The longer someone goes without touching their smartphone after activating the Tap mobile app, the more clean water will be unlocked for children. This year, friends and family members can also challenge each other to see how long they can 'digitally detox' to help raise additional funds.

The UNICEF Tap Project app tracks each participant's time spent away from their phone -- and showcases how many days of clean water they have unlocked for children. Users can then share their results via social media and challenge friends and family to beat their time. Individuals can also donate or sign up as volunteers to support UNICEF's clean water and sanitation programs for children through the site.

Giorgio Armani Fragrances is returning for the sixth year in a row as the national partner of the UNICEF Tap Project and will donate a minimum of $500,000 to support this year's initiative through the Acqua for Life campaign, which is dedicated to bringing safe drinking water to populations in need around the world. The campaign offers multiple ways for people to get involved. The new Acqua for Life bracelet will be sold along with a sample fragrance for $1 at participating retailers from March 1 to June 30, and 100% of the purchase price will be donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Giorgio Armani Fragrance will also donate 100% of profits for each Acqua di Gio Limited Edition and $5 for each Acqua di Giò and Acqua di Gioia spray cologne or gift set purchased in the United States in March*. The company has donated $2.3 million over the last five years and has raised awareness to help UNICEF improve access to safe, clean water for children worldwide.

Joining as a new Proud Supporter of the UNICEF Tap Project this year is S'well®, a company that creates reusable water bottles with a purpose. S'well is donating $100,000 to encourage the public to unplug and provide clean water to the world's most vulnerable children. 

UNICEF's Next Generation is a group of young leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators who commit their resources and enthusiasm to supporting UNICEF's work. NextGen members have been supporters of the UNICEF Tap Project since its inception and have committed $150,000 this year.

The UNICEF Tap Project has raised more than $5 million for UNICEF's water and sanitation programs in Belize, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Nicaragua, Côte d'Ivoire, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Mauritania, Togo, and Vietnam over the last nine years. UNICEF works in more than 100 countries around the world to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities and to promote safe hygiene practices. Since 1990, thanks to the work of UNICEF and its partners, more than 2.1 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water.

Modern Assembly designed the 2015 UNICEF Tap Project app. The annual campaign is also supported by MediaVest.

About UNICEF

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

*Giorgio Armani Fragrances will donate to the United States Fund for UNICEF 100% of profits (equal to approximately 10% of the retail sales price) for each Acqua for Life Acqua di Gio limited edition, and $5 for each Acqua for Life Acqua di Gioia gift set and each Acqua di Giò and Acqua di Gioia perfume spray or cologne, purchased in the 50 United States, Puerto Rico or D.C. through authorized distributors from March 1, 2015, to March 31, 2015.

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