>> Happy Thanksgiving. I'm Natali Del Conte, and welcome to a special holiday edition of Loaded.
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Thanksgiving is a day that Americans spend recounting the things that we're grateful for. I've been thinking a lot about that since I got home from Mexico last weekend. I was invited as a guest to something called "The Summit Series," which is an event where the most influential people under 35 are gathered to foster relationships and share ideas. I was really flattered to have been invited. Now, I know this sounds like a bunch of young people just goofing off in Mexico, but actually it was a very valuable trip. Two events were especially memorable, and I wanted to share them with you.
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The first day of the trip we were taken on busses to the outskirts of Cancun.
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Thousands of children live in extreme poverty in Mexico. We were there to bring them what, for many, would be their very first pair of new shoes, courtesy of a company called TOMS shoes. TOMS shoes was founded by a man name Blake Mycoskie.
>> TOMS shoes a company that I started, and for every pair of shoes that we sell, we give one pair away to a child somewhere in the world that doesn't have shoes. There is a lot of kids on the outskirts of this area, and they arranged for us to come and give 500 kids shoes.
>> The shoe drop became such a moving experience. The children were beyond grateful. So much so that most of them put their new shoes in their bookbags and carried them home so that they wouldn't get them dirty.
>> Everyplace we go, we try to find what needs are the greatest, but it's always one for one. So every pair of shoes we ever sell, no matter what, from day one, we match it by giving one away. And so far we've given away 100,000 pairs of shoes.
>> TOMS shoes is an organization I definitely plan to keep on my radar. You can do the same by visiting TOMSshoes.com.
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On the second day of the trip, we were treated to a presentation by a very inspirational person named Scott Harrison. Two years ago Scott spent some time volunteering in Africa, helping to document the dire medical needs of various communities. He learned that almost all of the severe tumors and diseases that the locals were suffering from were a direct result of contaminated water. Scott founded an organization called "Charity Water" based on his volunteer work in Africa.
>> We want to bring clean and safe drinking water to the billion people in the world without it
>> To date, Charity Water has raised seven million dollars, and organized 890 water projects in thirteen developing countries. These projects will provide clean and safe drinking water to over 400,000 people.
>> There are three ways that you can help. One, if you're a September baby, give up the gifts and fundraise with us. Two, if you're not, consider donating $33.00 for my birthday. 100 percent of all money we raise will go directly to build water wells in Ethiopia. Three, you can tell people about what we're doing. Last year, only 90 of us raised 150 thousand. Imagine what 900 people could do, or 9,000. Get involved. Visit Borninseptember.org.
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>> Scott and Blake are excellent examples of people who are leveraging the power of technology to make a measurable difference in the world. As you enjoy your holiday meal this year, I hope you find it in yourself to be thankful for the smallest amenities that we take for granted, such as shoes and water. The holidays are about caring for other people. Now, I know the economy is bad and times are tough, but we can make a difference by helping to spread awareness, even if we can't donate our resources. That's the true power of the Internet and technology. At the very least my hope is that you know a little bit more about the needs of the world based on this episode of Loaded. And that, at least, is something. With that I want to think you for watching this special edition of Loaded. I hope you have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving with the people that you love. I'm Natali Del Conte with CNET TV, and you've just been Loaded.
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