Clean water is a luxury we often take for granted. This is a resource we use on a daily basis and typically don't think twice about it. However, over 748 million people do not have access to clean water. Jonas Umbrellas is taking action by funding wells in African schools through umbrella sales in America.
During Josh's grad school travels abroad he met a young boy who changed his life. Down by the Nile River Josh noticed a boy in tattered clothes who was collecting the dirty, running water. Josh was taken back and started hanging out with the boy. After graduating with an MBA Josh didn't know what to do. He reflected back on his travels which inspired him to research social enterprise.
Josh was inspired on a rainy day in Boston after noticing how dreary the umbrellas were. He wanted to create a socially responsible umbrella. In order to further his understanding of social enterprise, Josh reached out to John, the founder of Drop in the Bucket. Drop in the Bucket is an LA based non-profit that builds wells and sanitation systems in Africa in order to provide communities with the tools they need and increase access to education. By placing the wells at schools, this allows students the opportunity to bring home clean water to their families leading to an increased impact. John and Josh's friendship eventually led to a partnership between Jonas Umbrellas and Drop in the Bucket. Jonas Umbrellas gives 75% of their profits back to Drop in the Bucket to build wells in Africa.
Jonas Umbrellas partners with local artists in order to create a number of limited edition umbrellas with a certain pattern. When that certain pattern is sold out, this means the well is fully funded. Each umbrella has a number on the handle allowing customers the opportunity to register their number online as a way to receive updates on the specific well their umbrella helped fund. This provides an identifiable way for consumers to remember their impact.
Josh was able to travel and see the impact Jonas Umbrellas has on these communities. When Josh went to visit he learned that the schools enrollment increased by 200 students when the well was built. Children lose around 443 million school days a year due to water related illness, but by providing this resource the rate of students returning to school increased too.
With the crazy weather lately, my Jonas Umbrella has been very handy. These umbrellas are incredibly well made and sturdy. I love the unique pattern on the inside that adds a bit of character to my rainy day accessory. I encourage you all to check out Jonas Umbrellas and consider purchasing one to help others gain access to clean water.
*Stats from Jonas Umbrellas website