LSC student’s nonprofit supports efforts to improve access to clean water

Sheri Nelson, a UW-Madison senior majoring in Life Sciences Communication, founded a project called “WaterDrops of Hope.” Its mission is to help the nearly one billion people who today lack access to clean water. In April of 2009, Sheri learned that every 15 seconds a child dies from lack of clean water.

Wanting to help, Sheri started researching and brainstorming ideas to get people to join with her on a mission. She wanted something that brought awareness to the water crisis and gave people a product they could use. That is when she turned to reusable water bottles. With the proceeds from each reusable water bottle she sells, three people can have clean water for five years, Sheri says.

“I’m just an ordinary UW-Madison student, but I developed so many skills through my business and life science communications classes that when I saw this opportunity, I took it. I’ve always wanted to build my own company and one of the reasons why WaterDrops of Hope has been off to a successful start is because of my passion – my passion for business, my faith, and serving others,” Sheri says.

Sheri designed a logo featuring her project that includes a traced replica of her hands reaching up to give water drops and hope to individuals without water. Then, she created a website:, for more information about the project, to receive updates, and learn about current water projects in Africa.

To deliver on her goals, Sheri turned to North Carolina-based “Water Project.” Water Project is a nonprofit organization bringing relief to communities around the world suffering from a lack of access to clean water. The Water Project has the resources and means to utilize the money WaterDrops of Hope program generates to give people around the world the gift of clean water. Sheri says 100 percent of the money WaterDrops of Hope raises is used to fund clean water construction projects.