Community helps 11-year-old Gretna boy collect, deliver 7,500 bottles of water for homeless

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 08:46:34-04

Caleb Sherman, 11, of Gretna, just wanted to collect some bottles of water to give to the homeless.

"They always have like a really hard time, and people are really mean to them," Caleb said.

So between the camps and baseball games this summer, this soon-to-be sixth-grader set out to collect bottled water all though the month of June for the Open Door Mission — for a second time.

Last year, he collected about 800 bottles of water. To boost his donations this time around, Caleb reached out to his community for help.

"This year, I asked some baseball teams and the neighborhood," he said.

According to his mom, Tammy, it was a big step.

"He's typically reserved, shy. That is not something you'd normally see out of him," she said.

It worked better than Caleb expected.

"The cool thing was, teams we didn't even talk to — like one of the teams that was playing this other team — they mentioned it, and those guys event brought water," Caleb said.

And he didn't stop there.

"One of my friends' dads works for a company," Caleb said. "They donated a bunch of water."

So far this June, Caleb has collected a lot more bottles of water than he did last year: 7,500 bottles were sitting in the family's garage Friday as his mom tried to figure out how to get them all over to the mission.

"We're still working on that," Tammy said. "We don't have anything in place yet."

But the community responded. Quickly.

Mary Mueller, an Omaha realtor, donated use of a truck to help Caleb get his water to the mission.

"It was so inspiring, what you guys are doing," Mueller said to the family. "We wanted to help you guys."

Now, with lots of room still left in the truck, Caleb has a new goal.

To help Caleb with his efforts, email KMTV 3 News Now at, and we'll connect you to the Sherman family.