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Oskar Blues, Can’d Aid Ship 66,000 Cans of Water to Hurricane-stricken Florida

October 13, 2018

Allen Prupp monitors the canning line Friday at Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont as the brewery canned water not beer for Hurricane Michael disaster relief. The Can'd Aid Foundation has partnered with Oskar Blues Brewery and Ball Corp. to provide more than 66,000 cans of water for Hurricane Michael relief efforts in Florida.

In response to the destruction caused this week by Hurricane Michael, which so far has killed at least 17 people, Oskar Blues switched off the beer lines at its cannery for six hours on Friday and canned 66,000 cans of clean water to be donated to relief efforts in Florida.

Founded in Lyons, Oskar Blues Brewery understands exactly how devastating a natural disaster can be for a community. So, too, does Can’d Aid, a Longmont based nonprofit supporting acts of “do-goodery,” that formed as a result of the historic flooding in 2013 .

“Board members and staff remembered losing their homes and having neighbors in distress, so there’s a lot of empathy there,” said Sarah Leavitt, the director of operations and programs at Can’d Aid. “So when the tables were turned, everyone was more than eager to stop the canning lines and put water in instead.”

With the help of Can’d Aid’s network of philanthropic businesses, all 66,000 cans will be immediately shipped to Florida and delivered to local organizations that can distribute them to families in need.

“Usually potable water is one of the first things to go in a natural disaster,” Leavitt said. “Because cans are lightweight and durable, it’s something we can ship and get into people’s homes pretty quickly.”

Since Can’d Aid began its water program in 2015 , with the help of Oskar Blues and the Ball Corp., which donates the cans, it has donated more than 1.5 million cans of water to 20 disaster areas in 10 states over the past three years .

Just last month, Can’d Aid and Oskar Blues delivered another 100,000 cans of water to support disaster relief in the Carolinas following the landfall of Hurricane Florence .

“Anyone can write a check, and we do that, too, but we’re in a unique position to do more,” said Patrick Daugherty, chief marketing officer for CANarchy, the canner for Oskar Blues. “We have this huge distribution facility, this huge factory and this brewery, so we can do this at a scale level and by having partners like Can’d Aid and Ball Corp., we’re able to do it economically. But whether our numbers are up or down, we’re still going to do that, it’s one of the pillars of this company.”

John Spina: 303-473-1389, jspina@times-call.com or twitter.com/jsspina24

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