A few years ago, Leon McLaughlin was traveling through Mexico, and met a woman who told him about a previous American visitor. The visitor had drained her bathtub of standing water, thinking he was doing her a favor. Instead, the woman cried. It turned out that was her water supply for a month. Gone down the drain. The incident brought home to McLaughlin how vital safe, clean water is to people’s lives – and how easily it is to take it for granted. But McLaughlin wasn’t going to take it for granted. He had an idea that could bring life-sustaining water to the woman in Mexico and millions around the world for mere pennies a gallon. It is a fascinating journey of one person’s determination to make a difference.
McLaughlin, a Cleveland native, arrived in Seattle three decades ago. He worked as the staff adviser at the Paramount Theatre until the early-1990s, then landing at the Seattle Repertory Theater and investing a bit in real estate. By the mid-1990s, McLaughlin had another idea – selling coffee-making equipment in Canada.
The coffee business and McLaughlin’s global travels got him interested in one of the key ingredients – safe, clean water. McLaughlin was struck by how much of the world didn’t have reliable supply of safe water, whether for drinking, cooking, or even brewing coffee.
He started researching the issue, taking online courses from Sacramento State University in California to get a degree in water management. From there, he created his own company, LAM, LLC, (the name drawn from McLaughlin’s initials) to deliver water to developing countries and areas hit by natural disasters such as floods or hurricanes. In 2008, McLaughlin founded the Clean Water Foundation, a non-profit corporation.
For more information, please see: www.cleanwaterfoundationwa.org
McLaughlin came up with an approach elegant in its simplicity. McLaughlin envisioned a water purification system that could be snapped together like the plastic blocks, not dependent upon written instructions, that could be assembled and put into operations anywhere in the world. He identified US manufacturers of purification equipment, piping, water bags for storage, even individual containers so children could get fresh, clean water at a school or hospital and take it back to their families.
Leon has now partnered with World Vision to install and distribute water purification machines in Bolivia and other countries, as well as Native American communities here in North America.
Leon does wonderful work, and I am so happy to have him on my radio show!
Leon is joined by Martha Childress from Natural Choice Network which broadcasts on KKNW, Tuesdays, 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm, (the same station that produces Out of This World).
Natural Choice Network is a show that explores the topics of sustainability, natural health, natural food, a healthy mind, and green resources. Host Martha Childress is committed to enhancing community, sustainability and health living in the region for future generations to come and will interview experts on various related topics. Martha was born and raised in the Seattle area, 3rd generation, with a deep love and appreciation for the Great Northwest
July 28, 2017