In October of last year, however, the company began focusing on more than just selling franchises. They committed to supporting Water.org in its efforts to end the global water crisis.
Co-founded by Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon and social entrepreneur Gary White, Water.org is a non-profit organization that has transformed hundreds of communities in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean by providing access to clean water and sanitation.
Over the past 10 months, Oxi Fresh customers have been encouraged to book their carpet cleanings online with $2.00 per job being donated to Water.org. The proceeds have gone directly to helping Water.org build water wells and help a portion of the nearly 700 million people in the world who do not have access to clean water.
Since announcing its support of Water.org, Oxi Fresh has booked more than 13,000 jobs online and donated nearly $27,000 to the cause, helping provide access to safe water and sanitation for more than 1,000 people.
“Business philanthropy is a relatively simple thing, but it is a very powerful action. It sends a huge message that says, ‘We are more than just an earnings machine. We are a partner with you. We are in it with you. We care.’ And that makes a difference,” said Oxi Fresh Founder and CEO Jonathan Barnett. “We couldn’t be more proud of our contributions to such an important and worthwhile cause, and doing our part to enable a life of health and dignity to the world’s most vulnerable.”
Those most affected by the global water crisis are women and children that are risking their health and safety each day with contaminated water.
Water is the Way
When Matt Damon got into the water business, he worked with H20 Africa Foundation, a non-governmental organization that raised awareness about clean water initiatives specifically in Africa.
“I did what I think a lot of people do, which is they kind of get right into the direct impact, like well-digging and how many people can I help if I dig x number of wells,” he said in a 2014 interview with CNN. But Damon said as his understanding of the issue grew, he realized that charity wasn’t going to solve the problem.
In 2009, he teamed with Gary White, co-founder of WaterPartners. They merged the two organizations and formed Water.org. Since, their organization has provided 4.3 million people access to safe water and sanitation across 12 developing countries.
According to Water.org, the world doesn’t stand a chance without safe water.
Water spreads disease. Compromises safety. Makes education elusive and economic opportunity farther out of reach. The lack of access to safe water is deadly, dangerous, and a major obstacle to the people of developing nations becoming economically empowered. It is what is standing between billions of people and their health, safety, and the opportunity to unlock their true potential.
Facts about water and sanitation:
- 663 million people – 1 in 10 – lack access to safe water.
- 2.4 billion people – 1 in 3 – lack access to a toilet.
- Women and children spend 125 million hours each day collecting water.
- Every 90 seconds a child dies from a water-related disease.
- On average, every one US dollar invested in water and sanitation provides an economic return of four US dollars.
For only $25, Water.org can bring someone access to safe water.
Oxi Fresh and Water Conservation
The importance of water is nothing new to Oxi Fresh.
When Barnett began researching carpet cleaning, he saw an opportunity to handle jobs more efficiently and sustainably than in the past. Working with a team of chemists, he created an innovative and environmentally-friendly carpet cleaning system.
Carpet cleaning traditionally involves a process called hot water extraction, which usually uses 40 to 50 gallons of water. Oxi Fresh’s carpet cleaning method only requires two gallons of water per home.
Since starting in 2006, the company has completed more than 500,000 jobs and saved more than 25 million gallons of water.
“Water conservation has always been one of our highest priorities,” Barnett added. “For every hundred homes cleaned, Oxi Fresh saves water. We use 200 gallons of water or less, while other systems use up to 4,000 gallons. That’s twenty times what other carpet cleaners use – a perfect example of water conservation in action!”
What’s more, the dirty water other cleaners extract from a carpet, which is only about half of what they put in, is usually considered “waste water,” and it’s simply discarded. However, Oxi Fresh and its environmentally friendly carpet cleaning seek to conserve water through its low moisture cleaning agent that enables carpets to dry in one hour, far less than the standard 24 or more hours that other methods require.
“Without water, life would not exist. It is a prerequisite for all human and economic development. Yet today, nearly 700 million people lack access to safe water and more than twice that many, 2.4 billion people, do not have access to a toilet,” Barnett said. “We are dedicated to do our part to change this and look forward to continuing our support of Water.org well into the future.”
According to Barnett, Oxi Fresh has been donating around $3,000 to $4,000 a month to Water.org and he has no reason to believe those numbers won’t continue to increase.
“When I first started Oxi Fresh, our client base was wholly residential, but over the past few years we’ve expanded into the commercial sector by doing work for property managers. Coupled with the fact that we’ve ramped up our expansion efforts in both the United States and Canada, that means more franchisees, more customers, more online bookings and even more donations for Water.org,” he said.
Schedule Online to Help the Cause
To learn more about the work that Water.org is doing to break down barriers between people and access to safe water and sanitation, visit www.water.org. To schedule a carpet cleaning online and help the cause, visit www.oxifresh.com/water-org.