Nonprofit CannedWater4kids (CW4K) Celebrates 16 Years of Saving Children from the Deadly Effects of Unsafe Drinking Water
The nonprofit organization, CannedWater4kids (CW4K) is celebrating 16 years of saving children from the often-deadly effects of drinking unsafe water. “It’s hard to believe that it is sixteen years already,” said Greg Stromberg, Founder & CEO of CW4K. “To our supporters, more children are alive today because of your kindness and support. Thank you for helping us give children the gift of safe drinking water and the gift of life.”
The inspiration for CW4K came from several sources, including Stromberg’s father, who used to tell him stories about his grandfather, a dentist during the Great Depression who would fix the teeth of the poor without charging them. Another influence was the late Paul Newman and how he used his Newman’s Own brand to make a difference in helping those in need. The final spark came from a 2007 CanMaker Summit in Chicago, IL. The keynote speaker was a packaging consultant to the United Nations. He asked the CEOs in attendance what they were doing to help people in developing countries—specifically concerning the lack of food and water, which was unfit to drink. “Everyone was silent. Something inside told me I needed to do something. I needed to make a difference,” said Stromberg. “I had been reading about the global water crisis and how children died every 21 seconds from complications due to drinking unsafe water. I thought if the children are our future, but they die before they get there – we have no future,” Stromberg added. It was at that moment that CannedWater4kids was born.
In recent years, CW4K has completed sustainable water projects in Lusaka, Zambia, and in Guatemala. These projects have provided clean, safe water to over 400,000 people in Lusaka and a village in Guatemala for over 20 years. “When funding and delivering water projects, sustainability is important to us,” said Stromberg. “We believe in the ‘teach them to fish’ model of relief,” he added. “That way, the deliverables have more value to the recipients and greater potential of living on.”
In 2023, under the leadership of Uganda-born CW4K board member Dr. Moe Mukiibi, the nonprofit intends to help 5-10 villages on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda that don’t have clean water. At each location, the plan is to install a water purification device, a solar pump at the well, and a water kiosk to house the water purification system. The team will also provide training for water testing and maintenance.
CW4K water has also been seen in popular movies and TV shows, such as The Emoji Movie, Spiderman, Smurfs, and the SpongeBob Movie, as well as on the Hallmark Channel, ABC, FOX, Netflix, Warner Bros., and other top-tier media outlets. Exciting new placements include product use in the popular iCarly and Lizzo episodes, expanding the nonprofit’s brand awareness.
In addition to helping people in developing countries, CW4K has also helped pregnant moms in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who live in old houses with lead pipes. This aging lead pipe infrastructure can cause lead to leach into the water supply, which is especially dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children.
Funding for the nonprofit comes from cash donations, sponsorships, private donors, and selling their premium drinking water in aluminum bottles and cans. Ninety-five cents of every dollar collected goes to fund, support, and deliver clean drinking water programs worldwide.
Available in 16oz aluminum bottles and 12oz aluminum cans, CW4K premium drinking water sales are growing. Segments include households, boardrooms, office meetings, schools, hospitality, vending, and fundraising. To support the nonprofit’s growth, cW4K hopes to acquire additional corporate donors and sponsors to help offset operational and administrative costs.
“To our supporters, more children are alive today because of your kindness and support. Thank you for helping us give children the gift of safe drinking water and the gift of life.”
Established in 2008, CannedWater4Kids (cW4k) is a 501(c)(3) charity based in Sussex, WI. The organization’s purpose is to ensure all children have access to sustainable, clean, safe drinking water. cW4k funds its initiatives with cash donations, grants, and through the North American sales of their premium drinking water in aluminum cans and bottles. Ninety-five cents of every dollar collected goes to support, fund, and deliver clean water programs. Over the years, the group has helped fund and deliver sustainable well and water purification solutions to the highlands of Guatemala and Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, Africa. They’ve also helped the American Red Cross and others provide disaster relief to Japan, Haiti, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Puerto Rico, and, most recently, Texas after the devastating 2021 Winter Storm. In addition, completing a project in Africa brought sustainable clean, safe drinking water for the first time to an entire village – over 400,000 people. To learn more, visit https://www.cannedwater4kids.org.