What do we care about?
We care about everyone having access to safe water. That means we care about keeping our water safe (clean) and creating sustainable systems to ensure everyone has access to clean water. There is no new water, so we care about using the water we do have responsibly and equitably.
Why do we exist?
Our mission is two fold: being good stewards of the water (environmental issue) we have and ensuring people have more equitable access to it to meet their basic needs (a human rights issue).
Currently, 783 million people do not have access to safe water. In the world, the average distance someone must travel to get water is 4 miles. Typically, these people are women and children, which prevents them from getting an education or working. In addition, the water that is collected is rarely safe, leading to sickness, loss of productivity and even death.
Our water is currently being polluted by runoff from land and ‘disposable’ plastics. This is creating a huge environmental mess that we must address in order to sustain lives now and into the future.
What does ‘Drink Local Drink Tap’ mean?
We started as a volunteer group concerned about many water issues facing our Great Lakes. Quickly after we began to stabilize, we realized that we had to start at square one with our community members if we wanted water stewardship and concern for our water to increase. Square one was getting people to think about the water they put in their own body everyday. We decided to start a Drink Local Drink Tap campaign to get people off the bottled water habit and we grew from there.
What are our program areas?
Access, Education, getting people Active. You’ll see those words here a lot, because they’re our central tenements. DLDT works to develop access to water by drilling boreholes (deep wells), installing water filters and rehabilitating water sources in the villages of Uganda. We work with our partner communities to ensure that the people are trained in caring for the source in a sustainable way. DLDT works in Northeast Ohio to educate and inspire people to become better stewards of our water and Great Lakes. Ironically, we also work in the Great Lakes region of Africa, but people don’t have access to their water. Through Activism, we provide volunteer opportunities, host beach cleanups, and have events so people can get more involved in inspiring other to care about our water, and each other.
How were we founded?
Erin Huber is our founder and CEO. She has always been passionate about the environment and helping others. DLDT was founded in 2010, after Erin attended the first Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit. After the summit, her and a group of others community members set out to solve the problems the Great Lakes. The group started celebrating World Water Day in 2010, started a Drink local Drink Tap campaign, and adopted Edgewater Parks’ beach. Huber started talking in schools about what they were doing and met a schoolteacher from Uganda. After hearing about kids in Uganda missing school and losing their lives due to water issues, Erin knew she had to help. Everyone thought this 26-year-old was a dreamer and overly optimistic. But you know what? She got to Uganda, met people, organized a crew, got the equipment, made a documentary about the water situation and built a borehole to bring safe water to 700 children and their families.
What is the Shop for Water?
The Shop for Water is on online shop that sells Ugandan wares to raise funds for clean water projects. DLDT has a partnership with Arise and Shine Uganda’s women’s empowerment project, a non-profit that teaches women (many times single leaders of HIV+ households) how to make handmade crafts, then sell them for a fair wage. We buy from them, bring the items back, and resell them here to give these women real income, raise awareness about DLDT’s work, and fundraise for future projects.
What are the items in the Shop for Water made from?
All the skirts, bags, napkins, and aprons are 100% cotton.
All the beads in the jewelry and making the clutch purses are made from rolled magazines that are then sealed with resin. Some are dyed to create more uniform coloration.
Is there tax benefit to supporting Drink Local Drink Tap?
Yes! 50% of the total purchase is tax deductible at the Shop for Water and 100% is tax deductible for direct donations.