My 29th Birthday Fundraiser with charity: water

My 29th Birthday Fundraiser with charity: water
As some of you may already know, philanthropy is an important part of my life. For my 29th birthday this year, I’ve decided to start my own annual birthday fundraiser (inspired by a few close friends). There is no greater gift than the gift of paying it forward.

After some research, I’ve chosen to fundraise for the nonprofit organization charity: water this year. I love their mission to help people gain access to clean water as statistics show 1 in 10 people do not have access to safe and clean water in the world. Water is a basic human necessity, and everyone should have access to safe and clean water.

Many of us have no idea what it’s like to be thirsty. We have plenty of water to drink — even the water in our toilets is clean! Unfortunately, many people around the world don’t have that luxury. Every day, about 1,400 children die from diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are simple solutions like drilled wells, spring protections, and BioSand filters that help provide clean water to communities around the world.

Learn more about the global water crisis: https://www.charitywater.org/global-water-crisis/
Learn more about charity: water clean water projects: https://www.charitywater.org/projects/

My goal is to raise $3,000, which will help 100 people get safe and clean water (every $30 helps one person). This goal may be a bit ambitious for my first birthday fundraiser, but I believe we can do it! No donation amount is too small.

100% of the proceeds will be used to build clean water projects, and when they’re complete, charity: water will send us photos and GPS coordinates so we can see the exact community we helped.

I would greatly appreciate it if you would share my fundraiser page with your network as well. Thank you in advance for contributing to this cause. Your generosity will not go unnoticed. Now, let’s make a difference in the world and the lives of others together!

PS – When making a donation, leave a comment with your Instagram and Twitter handles, and I’ll give you a shoutout on my social network channels. 🙂

FYI – All donations made in the U.S. are tax-deductible.

Donate: http://my.charitywater.org/francesm/29thbday

Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver:
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver

Video of the B.C. Day fireworks at English Bay from downtown (click image to watch)
Travel Guide: Vancouver

Gastown:
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: VancouverTravel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver 

Coal Harbour:Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver

Video from the waterfront (click image to watch)
Travel Guide: Vancouver

Miku Restaurant
Travel Guide: Vancouver 
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver

Chinatown:
Travel Guide: Vancouver

Stanley Park:
Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park:
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver

On the road to Pemberton:
Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver
Travel Guide: Vancouver Travel Guide: Vancouver

Pemberton: (minutes away from Joffre Lakes Provincial Park)
Travel Guide: Vancouver

 Joffre Lakes Provincial Park:
On our way to Lower Joffre Lake
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes

Lower Joffre Lake
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes

On our way to Middle Joffre Lake
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes 

Video of the scenic view as we head to Middle Joffre Lake (click image to watch)
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes

Middle Joffre LakeTravel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes 

Upper Joffre Lake
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes  Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes  Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes

Video of the breathtaking view from Upper Joffre Lake (click image to watch)
Travel Guide: Vancouver - Joffre Lakes

I visited Vancouver for the first time last summer, and I fell in love with the beautiful city. We stayed at The Westin Grand in Downtown Vancouver for the convenience. We had an amazing view of the city from our hotel, which included the Vancouver Public Library (Central Library Branch) and B.C. Place Stadium. The hotel is right on Vancouver’s popular shopping and food street — Robson Street (equivalent to Fifth Avenue in New York City). We also got out of the city and spent a couple of days north of Vancouver.

Below are my recommendations by neighborhood:

Downtown Vancouver:
Jam Cafe on Beatty – Popular local brunch spot. They give you generous portions, so sharing is a must.
Mean Poutine – This food stand has a wide range of delicious poutine options.
Japadog – Good for a quick hotdog and fries snack break.

Gastown:
Steam clock – Watch the quick performance at this well-known tourist attraction.
Soft Peaks – Cool off with a cup of delightful soft serve.

Yaletown:
The Flying Pig – Grab some drinks and good food with friends — I highly recommend getting the bone marrow.

Coal Harbour:
Miku Restaurant – This was my most memorable meal in Vancouver. Fresh and delicious sushi — I highly recommend trying the aburi salmon oshi.
Bella Gelateria – The best and unique gelato flavors in Vancouver. I tried and loved both the earl grey tea and lavender flavors.

West End:
Hida Takayama Ramen – Delicious hole-in-the-wall ramen inside a quiet food court.

Stanley Park: Go for a morning or early afternoon run, walk, or bike around the park as you take in the surrounding city and nature views. Don’t forget to make a quick stop at the Brockton Point Totem Pole nearby.

Other places to eat and visit outside the city (will need a car to drive):

Kensington-Cedar Cottage:
Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant – Authentic and delicious dim sum with good portions.

Richmond:
Bubble World – Popular Hong Kong style cafe with a ton of dishes to choose from, including a couple of my favorites — deep fried squid and shaved ice. They have multiple locations in the Vancouver area.
Aberdeen Centre – Large Asian mall with a wide selection of Asian food at the food court. We also stopped by the popular Japanese dollar store Daiso and Korean beauty store Aritaum while we were there.
Yaohan Centre – We came here for some Hong Kong style detox herbal dessert and drinks — I recommend trying the herbal jelly with coconut milk for a quick detox. Also, the supermarket in this mall has the freshest packaged sushi I’ve ever seen as well as a good range of Asian beauty products.

Fairview Slopes:
Tropika On Cambie – Great dinner spot for groups. Asian family-style dishes — I recommend trying their curry dishes.

Hastings-Sunrise:
Bao Chau Vietnamese Restaurant – A solid hole-in-the-wall spot to satisfy your Vietnamese food cravings.

Head north of Vancouver (drive over the Lions Gate Bridge):
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – Well worth the trip to cross the suspension bridge as well as complete the cliffwalk and treetops adventure in the West Coast rainforest.

Pemberton:
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park – Spend the day hiking at this breathtaking, picturesque park. This was my favorite activity on my trip.

Whistler:
Olympic Rings at Whistler Olympic Village – Take a photo with the Olympic rings.
Earls Kitchen + Bar – Great American restaurant with a good range of options.
Menchies – A solid frozen yogurt place if you’re craving something sweet.

Wishlist places to visit next time:
Granville Island
Grouse Moutain
Vancouver Island
Whistler