Daily Camera (Boulder)
Partnership answers Texas cold blast with clean water supply
When record cold temperatures slammed Texas last week, shutting down water and electric infrastructure and leaving more than 4 million without power, a Longmont partnership worked to help the Lone Star State’s residents.
Can’d Aid, Longmont’s Oskar Blues Brewer y and Sleeping Giant Brewing Company in Denver rallied to get clean water in cans and trucked out to areas in Texas where it was needed.
Can’d Aid executive director Diana Ralston said the nonprofit has been helping to facilitate getting the water to Texas, while the breweries have worked to can the water.
A truck carrying 50,400 cans of water arrived in Austin Wednesday. Two trucks loaded with more than 75,000 cans from Sleeping Giant will arrive Thursday, with shipments also planned from Oskar Blues to San Antonio and the Houston Food Bank on Friday and Saturday. The par tners began delivering water starting last week. As of Wednesday, roughly 100,800 cans of water had been sent to Texas.
“We are working with them to can and ship as much water as quickly as possible,” Ralston said Wednesday. “This is the DNA of Can’d Aid. We saw there was a water boil notification and that people were without water entirely. Even though the power is back on, reports are saying people will be without clean drinking water for awhile.”
Aaron Baker, Oskar Blues Brewer y senior marketing manager, said in an email Wednesday that helping the communities where the brewery has roots is important to the company. The brewery has operations in Longmont; Brevard, N.C. and Austin, Texas.
“We’re proud to brew beer in each of these great towns,” Baker wrote. “In moments when one of these communities needs help, our breweries can and will do whatever we can to pitch in. In this case, Austin TX was hit with a horrible winter storm — a storm knocking out power and causing many to be without water. We immediately started the task of canning water in Colorado to get it to Austin as quickly as possible. “
Funding partners, community members and celebrities have stepped up to help cover the cost of packaging and shipping the water to its destination. TV show host and comedian Chelsea Handler sponsored the truck load of water that arrived in Austin on Wednesday, according to Ralston.
“The fact that celebrities like that are engaged in response to a crisis, (helps) you get the word out to a wider network,” Ralston said.
Each truckload costs about $14,000, Ralston said, including the process of canning, packaging and shipping the water. Once the water reaches its destination in Texas, Ralston said, there are volunteers and on-the-ground partners working to get the supplies out to people.
It’s not the first time Oskar Blues and the nonprofit have par tnered to get water to people in need. As par tners for roughly seven years, the brewery and nonprofit have worked together to send water to places recovering from disaster across the nation and in Puer to Rico.
Ralston said the partners will continue to send water to Texas, as long as there is a need. People can donate money to help with the ef for t by visiting Can’d Aid’s website at candaid.org. In addition to helping to send water to people in need, Can’d Aid also initiates ef for ts to protect the environment and seeks to provide oppor tunities for youth to experience music, arts and the outdoors.
“Our tagline is ‘Fueled by people power,'” Ralston said. “We really are reliant on volunteers to help make our programs happen around the countr y.”