Wild for Water Filters – Supporting Hurricane Victims in Puerto Rico
Wild Leap Brew Co., a LaGrange-based craft brewery, is embarking on its first big humanitarian effort, a campaign to bring clean drinking water to Puerto Rico. And they’re encouraging the community to join them.
Last fall, category 4 Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on Puerto Rico, taking lives, ripping houses apart and causing huge destruction to the island’s infrastructure. 70 percent of the water treatment plants and distribution systems were destroyed.
Wild Leap has paired with the group, Flip Flop Floatilla with the help of Troup County Sheriff Officer, Ed Burton. Flip Flop Flotilla is made up of pilots who receive the donated filters from Wild Leap and fly them to Puerto Rico to the families in need.
As the U.S. EPA struggles to rebuild it, thousands of families still lack access to clean water. Even those lucky enough to have running water have been instructed to boil it before using. People in rural communities are collecting water from creeks and rivers – many of which are contaminated. In some towns, it has already led to outbreaks of leptospirosis. Health officials fear a major health crisis of waterborne diseases.
“So many diseases are spread through unsafe water. That’s why we want to get as many water filters to the residents there as soon as we can.”
Wild Leap is sending a shipment of water filters to Puerto Rico and they’re asking for the public’s help. The team is accepting donations of Sawyer Products mini water filtration system and replacement pouches. The lightweight and portable filters can be ordered on Amazon at the links indicated and sent directly to Wild Leap at 308 Main Street, LaGrange, 30240. The team will then pay to ship them to Puerto Rico.
“You can’t make great craft beer without clean water,” said co-founder Rob Goldstein. “In fact, we wouldn’t be in business without it. I think we also take it for granted that we can turn on the faucet and have drinkable water anytime. It’s almost unimaginable to think that some of our neighbors don’t have access,” he added.
The project is personal for co-founder Anthony Rodriguez, whose family lives on the island. “The continued devastation in Puerto Rico breaks my heart,” he said. “So many diseases are spread through unsafe water. That’s why we want to get as many water filters to the residents there as soon as we can,” he added.