GR water donations and more volunteers arrive in Flint


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Families in Flint are getting some relief from a donation campaign that started in Grand Rapids.

Thousands of bottles of donated water arrived in Flint Wednesday, as the city continued to deal with the fallout from lead that leached from its pipes into drinking water.

The shipment came from a weekend donation drive organized by the Grand Rapids Employees Independent Union. After 24 Hour News 8 shared their story, phone calls and water donations started pouring in from across the country.

A total of 1,200 cases of bottled water and 371 containers holding one to five gallons of water were collected. Wednesday morning, union members loaded up the truck and sent it off.

“This is huge for us, but it’s small for them. This is all going for such a good cause… they’re crying out for help and West Michigan answered,” said Lisa Rule with the Grand Rapids Employees Independent Union.

Cedar Crest Dairy donated the truck, the driver and the gas to get all of the water donations to Flint Wednesday.

Meanwhile, additional National Guard soldiers and airmen joined the door-to-door effort in Flint, delivering filters, water and testing kits.  So far, water response teams have visited more than 22,000 homes.

The heightened response kicked in one day after Gov. Snyder addressed the water crisis in Flint during his State of the State speech.  Snyder apologized again, saying the government failed the people of Flint, and he planned to release his emails sent during the water crisis.

Snyder also called on the legislature to approve $28 million in funding for Flint, and vowed to appeal a disaster aid request denied by President Obama.

People who still want to help Flint families can join WOOD TV8 and its Connecting with Community partners as they gather Water for Flint.

Donors can drop off sealed bottles and jugs of water at all Art Van Furniture stores throughout West Michigan through Feb. 11. The water will be shipped to Flint and distributed to residents by Catholic Charities.

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