Following a recent St. Louis Cardinals game, pitchers Adam Wainwright and Jaime García sat down to interview with Kyle McClellan, former Cardinals pitcher and now leader of Brace for Impact 46, a foundation that provides clean water, medical care, employment, and more for communities in Haiti as well as in their own city of St. Louis, Missouri. The original interview aired July 5, 2016, on KMOX News Radio 1120.A faithful supporter of Water Mission, Adam Wainwright first traveled with Water Mission to Haiti in 2013 to see the impact of safe water in communities that lacked access to this most basic need.
Following the trip, Wainwright launched “Waino’s World,” a website that allows fans to assemble their own fantasy football team and compete throughout the season against not only Wainwright but some of his fellow Cardinals players. The registration fee benefits three charities, including Water Mission. Seeing great success, Wainwright repeated the fantasy football competition, including other players from Major League Baseball teams, forming Big League Impact.
The funds raised through Big League Impact have transformed communities in Honduras and Haiti by providing safe water and sanitation solutions for thousands of people.
This year, Jaime García joins Wainwright in supporting Water Mission projects, but is choosing to focus the work in his native country of Mexico. “I was born and raised in Mexico,” explains García. “Ever since I came out to the big leagues, I wanted to have an opportunity to give back to my community and my country. After hearing the amazing things that Adam [Wainwright] was doing with Water Mission, and I heard the things they were doing around the world… I jumped in.”
Although Wainwright has travelled internationally to help build safe water and sanitation solutions and seen the impact firsthand, it was actually an interview with young baseball players that made a deep impact on why he invests in safe water.
“I remember watching the Little League World Series a few years back, and there was a team that came in… from somewhere overseas. They [were asked], ‘What’s the coolest thing about being over here and playing in the Little League World Series?’ and [the kids] said, ‘Oh, you can go to the bathroom and get clean water.’ Apparently they would go in and turn the sink on and watch the water run out. They couldn’t believe that it was that close, and it was that accessible.”
– Adam Wainwright
Through García and Wainwright’s investment in 62 communities, over 215,000 people now have safe water and sanitation for life. “When you see [the impact] firsthand, when you see the people crying in the streets, when you see the impact on their stomachs, [when] there’s no one getting sick… you don’t want to live your life the same anymore,” said Wainwright.
The city of St. Louis, Missouri, is supporting more safe water projects by hosting a Walk for Water on Saturday, August 27, 2016. The Walk is a three-mile journey that simulates the daily walk that millions make daily around the world to fetch water. The Walk for Water will kick off at 8:30am in Kirkwood City Park and will feature an auction with Cardinals merchandise autographed by Adam Wainwright, Jaime García, Trevor Rosenthal, Michael Wacha, and other players. To donate or register for the St. Louis Walk, click here. REGISTER TODAY
Listen to the full interview with Adam Wainwright and Jaime García below.