‘Shocked and amazed:’ Festival Foods donates 30K bottles of water to Hydrate the Homeless

MILWAUKEE -- Water is something many of us take for granted -- and it's something homeless shelters are in desperate need of during the summer. A Milwaukee woman stepped in to fill the void.

Amber Parham

Amber Parham was emotional Monday, July 8 as she talked about how quickly her Hydrate the Homeless campaign has grown.

"I am just shocked and amazed, because it's just going to help so many people," said Parham.

It started five years ago, and she's documented it along the way. It started with her filling her minivan after seeing a Facebook post about a homeless shelter in desperate need of water.

"Me being somebody who just takes a shower every day and turns on the faucet and gets water, I never thought in a million years that somebody didn't have water," explained Parham.

Hydrate the Homeless

Ryan Sberna

She turned to friends and family for help, and the donations grew every year. This year, Festival Foods donated 30,000 bottles. It was more than she could fit in her garage.

Ryan Sberna saw her post on Nextdoor asking if anyone had a warehouse. He did -- at Eagle Eye Power Solutions.

"It's a small inconvenience to us to be able to help out," said Sberna.

"This is an absolutely incredible donation," said Parham. "It means a lot to me and the people who will be receiving it."

Hydrate the Homeless

On Saturday, July 13, volunteers would help distribute all the water to various organizations and shelters across Milwaukee.

For more information on how you can help, visit Hydrate the Homeless MKE's Facebook page HERE. This year's donation drive runs until Aug. 1.

 

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