CLEVELAND — "A boss lady is somebody who boldly chooses her own direction. She gets stuff done, she often strays from the conventional path and blazes her own trail. She often works towards a higher purpose outside of her own personal success." - Maggie Sullivan, author of "Boss Ladies of CLE"
Erin Huber Rosen loves water – and she wants you to love it too. Inspired by our Great Lakes, she launched the nonprofit Drink Local, Drink Tap ten years ago.
Drink Local, Drink Tap focuses on water equity. Locally they advocate for clean, safe, affordable drinking water and sanitation services. And in Uganda, they work to support sustainable WASH projects from conception to execution.
"I do have to remind myself a lot that I'm probably the only person that wakes up every day thinking about drink local drink tap and it really is my my life and breath," Erin said.
The mission was inspired by our own natural resources here in Northeast Ohio.
"We live in the land of plenty in Cleveland, really. We live on a gold mine of water...so we work really diligently in Northeast Ohio to make sure that young people and adults understand that it's not like that everywhere and it's important for us to take care of it," she explained.
Here that means beach cleanups and water education for students...but abroad, Erin says, it's addressing water as a basic necessity.
"What's ironic is that I work in both Great Lakes regions of the world, so I work in the Great Lakes region of Africa and North America. But the stark difference is that access to the water."
In Uganda, Drink Local, Drink Tap has helped more than 30-thousand people access water, and given 15-thousand access to sanitation. And, it's created jobs for 40 some Ugandans.
"We've just been really trying hard to to build as as fast as our funds will allow us to build."
Despite slowdowns to work due to the pandemic, Erin tells 3News, they're still working hard to meet the need.
"This month we'll be opening a project that Clevelanders funded for three thousand students and their teachers. A water and sanitation system, I'm very excited to open that project and we'll have our new drill arriving in the next two months and hopefully I'll be there in the very beginning of the new year to go through the training and and get it moving in the field."
The coronavirus has not only kept borders closed. It has also made fundraising particularly hard in 2020.
"The first day of the actual shutdown and everything, we lost a lot of money, almost half of our budget this year so it's been a really trying year," Erin explained.
"If you've been supporting a non-profit, now is a really important time if you want their mission to continue to to keep that generosity going if you're able to."
If you're interested in getting involved - reach out to Erin at: Volunteer@DrinkLocalDrinkTap.org.
And, Drink Local, Drink Tap is looking to connect with teachers to share our new Wavemaker Program Curriculum now!
Contact is at info@DrinkLocalDrinkTap.org