Forget the ribbons and bows and extravagance that comes with birthdays anymore; instead, one Calgary girl will blow out her candles with one simple wish: to give the gift of clean water.


Gabriella Laws will celebrate her seventh birthday on July 3 and is forfeiting birthday presents, asking people to use that money to help her raise $250 to provide clean water to community members in rural Tanzania.


“Water is essential for life and I hope, together, we will be able to improve the lives of many,” she says on her fundraising page, found on the Canadian Physicians for Aid & Relief’s new site called Face of Giving.


Only 42 per cent of the population there has access to clean drinking water, and Laws feels that it’s only right that she does something to help since she’s lucky enough to be in Canada.


She’s raised $70 so far, but she has a few weeks to go. “I have too much things,” said the charming first grader, who said she has about 16 coming to her birthday and hopes they’ll all donate to the fund.

Globally, about 1.1 billion people don’t have access to clean water, which results in the annual deaths of about 4,500 children mostly under the age of five.