Jackson State University received 1,000 cases of HTWO premium hydrogen-infused water from Carolyn Hardy, president and founder of Hardy Beverages, LLC. Hardy donated the water to support the health and wellness of JSU students, faculty and staff amidst the water crisis that plagued the city of Jackson for a number of weeks.
“The outpouring of local and national support we have received from people and organizations like Carolyn Hardy of Hardy Beverages, LLC has been overwhelming,” says JSU President Thomas K. Hudson, J.D. “It is an outstanding display of philanthropy and how the greater community comes together in times of need.”
Hardy shares that studies show that HTWO hydrogen-infused water reduces joint inflammation, elevates metabolic function, and removes body toxins, in turn improving overall health. HTWO is manufactured in Hardy Beverages’ state-of-the-art facility located in Memphis, Tennessee.
“I know that there is no greater need than people having access to clean, healthy drinking water. We all know quality water is vital for life,” Hardy says, before emphasizing the importance of health in minority communities and communities in general.
According to Hardy, HTWO was the first hydrogen-infused water introduced to the United States eight years ago, and the donation has a retail value of over $35,000 at $2.99 a pouch.
When it comes to the packaging, Hardy says she was very intentional about placing her product in an eco-friendly aluminum pouch that generates 75 percent less greenhouse gas compared to traditional bottles and cans. She is sure to note that the design was not just for aesthetics, but there is science behind it.
“Hydrogen is the smallest molecule in the universe, and because it’s the smallest molecule, your traditional plastic and glass bottles cannot hold the hydrogen. Hydrogen gas can penetrate plastic and glass bottles. The only element hydrogen cannot penetrate is aluminum,” she says, adding that the HTWO pouch and cap are designed to give the product a one-year shelf life.
Hardy stresses that she not only wants to be a role model that paves the way for economic equality amongst minority businesses and Black women and men across the country, but she also hopes her philanthropic deeds help to lead the charge that contributes to sustaining quality HBCUs such as Jackson State.
“When things happen to our people in the United States, Black people need to come to the aid of other Black people. Jackson State is a historically Black college, which is extremely important to Jackson and the broader Black culture. The importance and impact of HBCUs on our culture require us all to do our part to lead, protect and serve. Black success is directly linked to the quality education offered by HBCUs,” Hardy says.
The serial entrepreneur credits her journey and mission as a businesswoman, wife and mother of three to her parents and one of her Lincoln Elementary school teachers, “Ms. Alice.”
“I’m wired this way because my mom had such a big heart and believed in education and its importance in changing a person’s economic circumstances. I come from very humble beginnings. I was the seventh of 16 children, and I was poor my entire childhood. My dad worked hard and was a skilled plumber, but it was hard to spread an income over sixteen children and not come up short,” she says.
Hardy reveals that she had holes in her shoes when she was in third grade.
“I was embarrassed every day, but I went to school every day. Ms. Alice, like my mom, was kind and compassionate. We all know that teachers don’t make a lot of money, but that didn’t stop Ms. Alice from buying me a new pair of shoes. She wanted me to be proud and reach my potential and not be affected by something as minor as a lack of adequate shoes. This is one of my efforts to pay it forward.”