MILWAUKEE — One billion people around the world lack access to clean drinking water. But a local non-profit is making waves all over the world. From Milwaukee, to Central Africa, to Guatemala, to Hollywood, "Canned Water for Kids" is saving lives.
Contaminated water kills 5,000 children a day.
"I don't know how people could turn their head knowing we are poisoning young minds, said Greg Stromberg, CEO and Founder of "Canned Water for Kids." His heart is flooded with concern for kids without access to clean water.
"The people suffering are the people who don't have the means to buy bottled and canned water," he said.
So, the retired canning industry executive founded "Canned Water for Kids," or CW4K. It ships water in recyclable aluminum cans to impoverished countries and disaster sites.
"We've done 35 water projects, replaced over 3 million plastic bottles in the U.S. market, and helped close to 3-4 million storm victims," said Stromberg.
The agency is run by volunteers and are committed to the cause.
"Nobody's paid a salary. All our board members are volunteers, none of my board members are paid," adds Stromberg. "We want to make sure that every child in the world has access to clean safe healthy drinking water."
All the proceeds go to water relief including the digging of wells and the building of purification systems.
"We can't live without water. If we're putting contaminated water in our bodies, think about the future, what it does to our brains, our bodies, our organs, the cancers. We talk about health costs for the future, the future is today! We should be solving the problem now!" exclaims Stromberg.
John Archuri donates the space to store the pallets of water, weighing more than 2 thousand pounds.
He is testimony that CW4K fills up the hearts of volunteers.
"I get out so much more than what I'm putting into it. I learned that as a kid and my mother gave me that gift."
CW4K water has gone to Flint, Michigan, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Zambia, and Central Africa to name a few. The water even has star power.
"With Haiti, Brad Pit and Angelina had a medical barge and they put two truckloads on there," shares Stromberg.
The water was even used backstage at the Oscars. "The Kelly Clarkson Show" chose the water for her backstage party.
"To become aware is a giant step in the right direction, then you begin to open up your hearts," said Archuri.
Stromberg's goal is not for a ripple of change, but to create a tidal wave of compassion. He has witnessed how "Canned Water for Kids" buoys the spirit of those it reaches.
"When I get the pictures from Zambia, Central Africa, Guatemala, and the smiling kids, and know they're going to have clean water for the next five years plus... for that you couldn't pay me. It's priceless."
Click here for Canned4Kids Facebook page.