Buy one, give one Help Water proves success at Stark

Photo from Kent State University.

Photo from Kent State University.

Alyssa Brown

Kent State Stark Campus business administration major Michael Rice walks into the local gas station looking for some water to quench his thirst.

“All that they carried was the big bottles of Fiji, which came to over $4,” he said. “I joked with the cashier and said ‘Wow, that’s pretty expensive; they must be donating a water to someone as well, which would explain for the outrageous price,’ and then it dawned on me: a buy-one-give-one bottled water; and thus, Help Water was born.”

Rice created Help Water, a Massillon-based premium bottled water company. The difference between Help Water and all the other bottled waters: with each purchased Help Water, an equal amount of water is distributed to a country in need of clean drinking water.

Help Water is purified through a process called reverse osmosis.

“Reverse osmosis is considered to be one of the best ways to purify water for quality and taste,” Rice said. “We do not want to add in a bunch of vitamins or electrolytes.”

This spring, Help Water was distributed in the Stark campus vending machines.

“We were going through several cases a week, which is very good for a company that people know little to nothing about,” Rice said.

Help Water is in a clear bottle with a red label and white cross design. The label identifies where the donated water is going and also has a QR code to scan and share on Twitter.

“When I saw it in the machines on campus, I wanted to know what it was,” junior communications major Brant Meredith said. “So I bought one and figured out what a cool concept it was.”

Stark campus public relations coordinator Cynthia Williams said the water was well-received on campus.

Rice said the success of his bottled water based on its label and consumers’ curiosity only adds to the story, and that he would really like to see Help Water distributed on the main campus the way Kent Stark has done so.

“People like Donald Thacker, Lisa Waite, Rachel Figueroa and Cynthia Williams of Kent Stark have done so much to help me,” Rice said, “with everything from ad banners on Kent Stark’s website, to photo shoots for various articles, to getting Help Water in the school vending machines. I am so grateful for these people. It is obvious that Kent State has the brains and resources to help give striving student entrepreneurs a good start to becoming successful with their business.”

Contact Alyssa Brown at [email protected].