PINOLE -- Pinole Valley High School senior Morvarid Mehdizadeh got started fundraising for the United Nations Children's Fund while trick or treating for donations on Halloween when she was in the first grade.
This year, she started a UNICEF Club at school that is co-sponsoring a concert fundraiser Friday in Berkeley called "Tap with a Beat" for the UNICEF Tap Water Project that provides safe drinking water to children worldwide who are exposed to diseases from contaminated water.
The Pinole Valley club is joining with the Albany High, Hercules High and Diablo Valley College UNICEF clubs in backing the Berkeley show, with the goal of raising as much as $4,000 for the charity.
Founded in 2007, the Tap project supports drilling wells, installing water pumps, building latrines and instruction in hygiene to children and their families in Central America, Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
It also teaches techniques such as rainwater harvesting and distributes low-cost water filters.
Nearly 800 million people worldwide do not have safe, clean water to drink, and more than 2.5 billion people live without a proper toilet, according to UNICEF statistics.
As a result, nearly 4,000 children under the age of 5 die of waterborne diseases each day, according to the organization.
"Every dollar we raise provides enough water for 40 children for one day," Mehdizadeh said. "Tickets to the concert are $10, which will pay for clean water for a child for 400 days."
The show will be from 6:45 to 9 p.m. at the Anna Head Alumnae Hall at 2537 Haste St. (corner of Bowditch) in Berkeley.
It will feature the Pinole Valley High jazz band, a Davis-based rock group called Chronic Vitality and Understudies, an "alternative hip-hop group" from Berkeley, Mehdizadeh said.
Besides the fundraiser, the Pinole Valley UNICEF Club has volunteered at the Bay Area Rescue Mission, a Richmond homeless shelter, and raised money and advocated for the Tap project and other children's causes by lobbying Congressional representatives and senators, she said.
"I thought that if there was another outlet like the UNICEF Club for the student body, it would make (Pinole Valley) a more community-oriented campus," Mehdizadeh said.
"What really got me interested in the fundraising is seeing how a little bit of money can go a long way," she said. "One dollar or a few cents can feed a family in another county."
Mehdizadeh, an El Sobrante resident, emigrated from Iran with her family at the age of 4. She has been admitted to UC Berkeley and plans to major in some area of science.
What: Concert to benefit the UNICEF Tap Water Project
When: 6:45 to 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Anna Head Alumnae Hall, 2537 Haste St. (between Telegraph Avenue and Bowditch Street), Berkeley