12/10/2012 05:23 pm ET Updated Feb 09, 2013

How the Founder of Charity: Water Went From Packing Clubs to Building Wells

Scott Harrison talks about his crisis of faith and a journey that took him from a debaucherous world of club promotion to becoming a powerful force for clean water in Africa.

In 2004, Scott Harrison was a nightclub promoter in New York City when he experienced a "crisis of conscience" over what he felt was a decadent, empty life. So he ran away and spent the next two years volunteering on board a hospital ship offering free health care in West Africa. In Liberia, he learned that most of the diseases they encountered were due to unsafe water. Back stateside, he threw himself a 31st birthday party and raised $15,000 to build wells in Uganda. That was the start of Charity: Water, a non-profit with the lofty mission of ensuring safe, clean drinking water for every person on the planet. Its "100% Model" ensures all public donations go directly to the field for wells and water; wealthy angel investors and foundations take care of staff salaries and overhead.

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