Justin Bieber is appealing to his fans to donate money to charity to mark his 17th birthday on Tuesday, March 1. The "Baby" hitmaker is forgoing gifts from his devoted fanbase in a bid to raise cash for Charity: Water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
In a post on his fundraising page, he writes, "I have had an incredible year and it is all due to the fans helping me live my dream. So this year, I really want my birthday to be all about helping others. Instead of asking for gifts, I'm asking friends, family and fans to consider donating $17 for my 17th birthday to help make a change."
"Did you know that about 4,500 kids die each day from waterborne disease? By building clean water projects for villages that need them, we can prevent this! of all donations go directly to building clean water projects in developing countries with charity: water, and we'll be able to see photos and GPS of the projects we helped build! I want to make my birthday matter this year - let's make it so more kids can grow up to have a 17th birthday like me. Join me to make a change."
"I'm really so grateful for my family, friends and fans - and I believe we can do something big to help bring clean water to people in need. Even if you don't have $17 to give I just ask you to go out in your community and try and make a positive difference. Even the smallest act of kindness can go a long way."
Bieber set his fundraising target at $17,000 - and had already smashed his aim by Monday night, February 28.