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Celebrities Working To Improve Water Access Worldwide

“Don’t meet your heroes” is a saying many of us have heard before. While it might sound a bit pessimistic, it generally comes from a good place. After all, the various figures some of us might look up to in entertainment, sports or business are only human. The information we see about them is often a carefully manicured idealization of who they are — real people with flaws, just like all of us. 

That being said, some of fame’s finest are worthy of a different spotlight. While these individuals have achieved monumental success in their fields, what is even more admirable is their desire to give back to the world. Water insecurity is a reality for millions at home and abroad. Access to water is a fundamental human right, and whatever effort to improve it should be welcomed. So, here are a few recognizable faces working diligently to do their parts. 

Photo Courtesy Ellery Sterling

Mark Ruffalo

Like many of us, Mark Ruffalo didn’t start as an environmental activist. That changed when his upstate New York neighborhood was deemed a prime fracking candidate in 2011. What fracking can do to an area’s water supply is not talked about enough, and Ruffalo has since made it his mission to use his notoriety to make a difference. Since 2011, the actor has co-founded the Solutions Project, a nonprofit geared toward helping young environmentalists start their movements. The organization provides equipment and brand training for those who ask for it and distributes millions in grant money. Solutions Project has also worked on a comprehensive renewable energy model and works with state lawmakers to find solutions.  

Photo Courtesy WaterBox

Jaden Smith

Jaden Smith has made quite a name in the music and movie industries. His eclectic style has garnered him a loyal fan base, with 19.1 million followers on Instagram. Many might not know that he has been actively fighting the Flint water crisis for years. Through their involvement in Flint, he and his business partner, ​​Drew FitzGerald, developed The Water Box, a revolutionary portable industrial-sized water purification machine, supplying it throughout the county free of charge. His nonprofit, 501CTHREE, will also be lending a hand in the water crisis in Jackson, MS.

Ben Affleck

A man who has been in the running for most recognizable Boston export for the better part of 25 years, Ben Affleck has been in and out of the limelight ever since making the 1997 smash hit “Good Will Hunting” with similarly undiscovered friend Matt Damon.

What often flies under the radar is Affleck’s work with the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), a charity he founded to help rebuild the war-torn eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

With Affleck’s tireless work, including 10 years of trips and testifying before Congress as an advocate for the crisis, ECI consistently supports more than 120,000 people with access to clean water. 

Photo Courtesy

Matt Damon

The latter half of the iconic Boston film duo has gone to similar lengths to improve global water insecurity. Damon founded the nonprofit in 2006 with the mission to deliver reliable access to clean water to the parts of the world that need it. Since its inception, the organization has helped more than 30 million people access clean drinking water in 13 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.


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