We’ve raved before about CannedWater4Kids, a nonprofit that bottles and sells drinking water in aluminum bottles and cans. The organization uses 95 cents of every dollar collected to fund and deliver sustainable clean-drinking-water projects and education around the world.
Now, Greg Stromberg, the socialpreneur behind CannedWater4Kids, has drawn accolades for his organization in conjunction with the return of … the Smurfs?
You read that right. Everyone’s favorite blue critters from the 1980s are back. “Smurfs: The Lost Village,” featuring the voices of Demi Lovato and Rainn Wilson, hit theaters nationwide April 7. And at the movie’s April 1 premiere in Culver City, California, Stromberg and his team provided complimentary cans of water to the 1,600 people in attendance.
Stacy Jones, CEO of Hollywood Branded, an entertainment marketing company that facilitates partnerships between brands and the entertainment industry, knew the Smurfs premiere party was the perfect opportunity for Stromberg to get his product in front of celebrities and other influencers. “The Smurfs are quintessentially about peace, health, and happiness, which are the same attributes behind CannedWater4Kids,” she says.
The crowd loved CannedWater4Kids almost as much as they loved the movie. “Everyone was talking about the crisp refreshing taste,” Jones says. “And once they found out that the water was benefiting those who are deprived of clean, healthy drinking water, they couldn’t stop raving.”
A DJ from KISS-FM, a top LA radio station, mentioned CannedWater4Kids on air. Danny Pudi, who provided the voiceover for Brainy Smurf, was photographed holding two cans of water.
This wasn’t the first time CannedWater4Kids has rocked Hollywood. The 12- and 16- ounce cans have been served backstage at the Oscars for the past two years.
The cans have made on-screen appearances too. In 2016’s “The Thinning,” a 16-ounce aluminum bottle of CannedWater4Kids is strategically placed on a table near a main character. In the romantic comedy “It Happened One Valentine’s,” CannedWater4Kids is offered as a beverage during a charity concert.
Stromberg hopes the support of Hollywood heavyweights will draw attention to both the water crisis abroad and the one in the United States. “In developing countries, people who drink unclean water get very sick from diseases like dysentery and sometimes die,” Stromberg says. “In this country, the problem is pipes. When underground pipes that deliver water are old, the water becomes contaminated with lead. Studies show lead in water causes a bunch of health problems and behavior problems in kids.”
Stromberg, who spent over 40 years working in the aluminum can industry, got the idea for CannedWater4Kids when he attended a conference during which a United Nations representative challenged manufacturers to figure out how cans could be used to keep food and water clean in developing nations. “I always admired that Paul Newman donated most of the money from his Own brands to charity,” Stromberg says. “I wanted to do something similar. It was my time to serve a higher purpose, do something good for in the industry, and leave a legacy.”
Stromberg deliberately avoided bottling his water in plastic. “A can is infinitely recyclable returning new cans to store shelves in as little as 60 days,” he says. “Plastic cannot do the same and, when discarded, becomes a burden on the environment.”
Aluminum also makes it less expensive to ship water to those suffering from the after-effects of natural disasters. “We sent water to Haiti after the earthquake, Japan after the tsunami and New York after Hurricane Sandy.”
He also regularly ships water to Flint, Michigan. “That’s an ongoing crisis.”
To learn more about CannedWater4Kids or to buy its water, visit its website.