I’ve always loved people who take an idea and turn it into reality, not just sitting on the side lines of life waiting for things to happen, the people who truly take matters into their own hands. One such person is Dan Flynn, head of the Thankyou Group. You may have seen bottles of water labelled with the Thankyou branding across 7-Elevens around Australia and more recently in the major supermarkets. The Thankyou range exists so that people in developing communities can have access to clean water, food and proper hygiene. All the things that are basic necessities that not only save lives but they change lives and communities.
Instead of just having to ask people to give money to charitable organisations, Dan created a leverage so that through our purchasing power, everyday folk like us can make the decision to purchase the Thankyou brand and make our dollar have a greater impact. Genius, right?
I was aware of the Thankyou water range but never really gave it too much thought until I met Dan at a Youth Summit in Port Macquarie where we both spoke at a few months ago. Dan was in the midst of campaigning the two major supermarkets to not only stock Thankyou water but their muesli and body care range - the kind of regular household products that are part of the weekly shop. All with the aim so that the Thankyou group can have even greater influence to the communities in need
Dan was less than a week out of taking his pitch to Coles and Woolworths and already backed with a groundswell of online support and press coverage. He even took to the skies with a private donor paying for helicopters to fly banners asking Coles and Woolies to stock their range.
I’ll also make mention that Dan is only 24 years old. He started the company when he was 19.
Coles and Woolworths traditionally don’t stock new ranges of products on the spot. Woolies only do a review of new products once a year. Dan and his team were completely unorthodox in their approach, they created noise, they showed the big wigs that the Thankyou range was necessary and that people would buy it. For Dan, there was no Plan B. They slotted themselves onto the Supermarket shelves by going in sideways. I LOVE IT!
This proves that it just takes a small idea to do something big. Over five years ago, a seed was planted in Dan’s mind when he learnt that the bottled water industry in Australia alone was worth more than $600 million. Coupled with the fact that over 900 million people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water, Dan was jolted into action by this startling disparity. And in 2008 Thankyou Water was born.
Along with Dan, Justine Flynn and Jarryd Burns founded Thankyou Water, a bottled water product that generates funds to implement safe water solutions in developing nations. To date, they have raised over $760,000, funding over 4000 water solutions in 100 projects and helping 56,000 people - nothing short of an amazing achievement.
Recently, the work of the Thankyou Group was brought into question due to its affiliations with religious groups and charities. Working on a project-based model, Thankyou does not discriminate against organisations by their beliefs or any other factor. Dan is clear that Thankyou’s profits are afforded 100% on a merit basis. Put simply Thankyou aims to support projects that are going to have the most lasting impact.
The next time you walk into a Supermarket look out for the Thankyou range. Their packaging is so bold it’s pretty hard not to miss it. And know when you make a purchase you’re helping thousands of people around the world.
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