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And the Winner Is....

Allgoodstern8807_smThe Amex card members have voted, the votes have been tallied, and...., the winners are the children that need safe drinking water!  Caryl Stern, President of US Fund for UNICEF, and I appeared on the CBS Early Show with Harry Smith for the Members Project winning announcement.

Not only did my entry "Children's Safe Drinking Water" win, but it won by a landslide. In order to fulfill the project idea, Amex will give the US Fund for UNICEF $2 million dollars. This means that hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world will have now have safe drinking water.

This contest has been a lot of fun and a lot more work than I expected. There are many, many people to thank. Literally tens of thousands. So forgive me for only mentioning a few. My assistant, Melanie, has been a champ at leading this effort. No matter how big the hill, Melanie is right there beside me climbing. And for this contest, she had me on her back half the climb. My wife, Lisa, did a great job of leveraging her networks to help support the project, but more than that, once again gave up a part of our vacation for me to work.

The contest got a little nasty for a few days because of misperceptions about the role of P&G and how the funds would be spent. There were even some negative blogs about my personal motivations. One got really crazy and had some strange analogy of comparing me to LeBron James. I still don't really understand that comparison so please don't ask me to explain. I even seriously considered withdrawing from the contest, but based on great advice that I received from both inside and outside of P&G, I decided it was best to stay in. There's nothing like friends and colleagues that you can call and seek advice from during a crisis. I leaned on my network and, as always, received incredible support.

Here's the bottomline, I entered this contest to draw awareness to the global health crisis of children dying from unsafe drinking water in the developing world. There are proven technologies, including P&G's PUR Purifier of Water, that can immediately be used to address this crisis. In fact, for only two cents a day, we can provide safe drinking water for a child for a day. While there were lots of fantastic causes among the 7,000 projects entered, there was no greater cause than this one. I'm thrilled we won.

I'm so greatful to all the support from P&Gers and my friends and colleagues outside the company. It was incredible to see the viral campaign being led on so many fronts by our many water partners, agencies, some of our brand teams, and others. Thank you to all who helped.

There were also some really fun times in the contest. I was on vacation at the beach with my family for the last week and we had a big tally sheet so everyone could follow the contest. We led from day one and our lead continued to grow every day. Winning and winning for a great cause is very inspiring.

It was also fun filming the videos that went on the Amex Members site and for my two appearances on the CBS Early Morning Show. The first CBS appearance was taped and it took 4 hours!! Trust me that you do not wish to be filmed for 4 hours. And, it wasn't because I'm that bad (really I'm not), but because we tried to film outside at my house and first there was a 5 alarm fire, then a neighbor cut down and hacked up a tree, then the neighbors dogs went crazy, etc. It seemed a comedy of errors trying to wait for enough quiet to complete the taping.

In addition to the money, the contest has been successful in helping raise awareness that there are solutions to the safe drinking water crisis. There has been quite a bit of national print and television coverage in the last few weeks, and lots of Cincinnati-based coverage.

And, an unintended upside of my participation in the Amex contest is the increased level of support and excitement for P&G's Children's Safe Drinking Water Program. There's more to come here, so stay tuned, but I did want you to know that winning this contest was well worth your support and all of our efforts.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Amex Members Project. Please take a moment to consider the importance of this work and feel good about it. We're going to prevent millions of days of diarrhea and save a lot of lives because of your support.

And now, I'm headed back to where I can help provide safe drinking water. There's lots to do and my next stop is Kenya.

Amex will have a short video about the award on its Members Project website through the end of August.  Please visit them.

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Comments

Congratulations! Would you please contact the lady in charge of UNICEF's funds and ask her if she would be interested in knowing a very simple way to PURIFY WATER, using the POWER OF THE SUN as its only energy source. Like Greg Allgood, I want nothing for this. I thought the number of people dying each year was well over 14,000, not 5,000. The solar purifier can be built with native materials in virtually every county in need. All UNICEF would have to furnish would be a small amt of plastic for a dome, and a small amt of concrete or other material for the funnel inside the dome to catch the pure water as it fall from the inside top of the dome, plus the pipe to an outside spigot.

Greg, I thank God for your work. I'm just an ordinary person who has a passion for children. I hope to have the priveledge of meeting you someday. My nephew and his wife work full time for WORLD VISION out of Seattle. I will continue to pray for your safety and the others working on the projects.
Remember you are not alone.
I look forward to the day when I can take a more active role in helping the
PRECIOUS CHILDREN of the wORLD
Blessings
Alice Shea
aliceshea7735@aol.com

Regarding the Amex Members project...

I had no idea we had so many Socialists as members.

Here was an opportunity to do something with the ability return real benefits, and they chose to perpetuate neediness.

"Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, feed him for a lifetime."

Amex just gave away a fish!

Hi, Congrats on your win at Member's Project. I actually submitted a project that was very similar to yours. Mine had a slightly different approach; it was about individualized, cheap treatment systems for each family.

At least a water idea was carried forward, I am really happy.

Good luck from now on!

I know you feel passionate about this project and I know that safe drinking water for everyone is very important. But, because of past scandels I cannot support Unicef and because of current scandals in the United Nations, I cannot support any United Nations Organization.

I like how humble you are in victory.

Hi Greg,
I am so happy to see your project won this award. I am social marketing professional. We work with projects similar to yours - ones that market programs that result in a better world. As you might imagine many social marketing projects are public health related. I am also a public health professional and an AMEX member. Just wanted you to know that I posted an appeal to vote for your project on our social marketing listserve on August 3, 2007. Hopefully some of our members cast the votes that kept your project in the top spot. Good luck with all your work and let us know how it goes. You can email me for a way to post progress reports to our listserve - susan@kirbyms.com

Hi Greg,
Congratulations on winning the Members Project. A very well deserved project! And thanks to you for all the hard work you've done and continue to do. I would love to get involved and volunteer to help with this issue. Please let me know if there are ways to get involved and volunteer.

Thanks,
Melissa

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