Remarkable Women: Shirley Salvo

Lowcountry's Remarkable Women

WADMALAW, S.C. (WCBD) – This week’s Remarkable Woman, Shirley Salvo, says that the idea behind her mission came to her in a dream five years ago. Now, she is improving the lives of thousands- neighbors and strangers alike- through the Water Wellness Mission.

Salvo- known to some as “The Water Lady”- says that she was at a Bible Study when she learned that thousands of people on Johns Island and Wadmalaw are living without safe water in their homes.

Because Wadmalaw does not have public water, most people have wells. But wells are expensive to maintain, and those with tight budgets are stuck with dried up wells or wells with water full of sulfur and iron.

Salvo was majorly influenced by a grandmother raising 6 children, who did not have access to clean water.

Through the Water Wellness Mission, Salvo started raising money to build wells.

The cost to build a well is steep, at $6,500, but Salvo wasn’t deterred:

“I felt like I live on an island with a lot of people who have a lot of money, so it felt like the rich could help the poor.”

News 2 caught up with Salvo during her 125th well installation. The impact of her work was obvious as the muddy, foul smelling water began to run clear.

Salvo’s generosity soon expanded into the Sea Island Hunger Awareness Foundation: the backbone for 11 organizations, including the Water Wellness Mission, the Crock Pot Cooking Class for Children, and the Blessings Basket.

In one month alone, about 275 Blessings Baskets were distributed.

Salvo says that she feels like she is doing what she is supposed to do.

Salvo encourages everyone to get involved. She says that she wants “everyone to realize that this is a village doing this project,” not just her.

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