While we may primarily know Jaden Smith for his starring role in The New Karate Kid and his growing rap career, the 20-year-old son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith may actually have more tricks up his sleeve than Hollywood stardom alone–such as entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
Jaden Smith’s newest focus is to bring clean water to Flint, Michigan.
Smith, founder of the company JUST goods–which bills itself as selling “ethically sourced and bottled” water–is teaming up with First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in an effort to bring a mobile water filtration system to the community.
Smith’s new system–dubbed “The Water Box”–will be set up at the church on Thursdays from 11:30am to 1:30pm and is capable of providing eight to 10 gallons of water per minute after running through three different filters, guaranteeing absolutely clean and potable water, according to ABC 12. Residents who bring their own containers will have free access to the water.
WATER BOX UPDATE‼️🙌🏾Today was another “Test” day for us at First Trinity with our Water Box🙌🏾Not only are we doing…
The church has provided about 5 million bottles of water to Flint, but has seen declining donations as the city nears the fifth year of its water crisis, which has seen Flint’s water contaminated with dangerous levels of lead and other contaminants leached from pipes that were corroded by water from the Flint River.
“It was a community that people were talking about and donating and everybody was paying attention and then slowly that started to dwindle and dwindle away, but the problem didn’t go away,” Smith said.
In addition to working with the church, Smith’s company will also collaborate with non-profit organizations like Black Millennials for Flint, Rethink H2O, The Last Kilometer, and Smith’s own 501CTHREE foundation.
"The launch of The Water Box was held at First Trinity, which has been working on the project with several organizations, including The Last Kilometer, Rethink H2O, Black Millennials for Flint and 501CTHREE." Thank you @officialjaden✊🏿 pic.twitter.com/rOlhw4bIse
— BlckMillennial4Flint (@BM4Flint) March 3, 2019
The government has largely turned a blind eye to Flint’s crisis. On April 6, 2018, Republican Governor Rick Snyder abruptly shut down the state’s water point of distribution (POD) centers, declaring that the water was clean and the “need for bottled water has ended.”
Scientists and residents outraged by the governor’s assertion and disagreed for the health of Flint residents have noted that many of the lead pipes still in use remain a source of contamination.
The young Smith, however, hopes that his new water filtration system will be the first in a series of steps meant to ease the burden placed on concerned Flint residents. Smith said:
“We want to continue to service Flint and to put more water boxes here and just to talk to the community and say, “Hey, how can we help? What’s next? What can we do to make life easier?”