Local student organizing “Friends of Flint” bottled water drive

 

Sobey, Shoppers Drug Mart, Meloche’s No Frills and Canadian Tire are assisting with Carlee Stoyanovich’s “Friends of Flint” bottled water drive. From left: Rennie Rota (Sobeys), Mary Ann Wolff (Shoppers Drug Mart), Stoyanovich, Chris Meloche (No Frills). Canadian Tire’s Jeff Levy was unable to attend the photoshoot.

Sobey, Shoppers Drug Mart, Meloche’s No Frills and Canadian Tire are assisting with Carlee Stoyanovich’s “Friends of Flint” bottled water drive. From left: Rennie Rota (Sobeys), Mary Ann Wolff (Shoppers Drug Mart), Stoyanovich, Chris Meloche (No Frills). Canadian Tire’s Jeff Levy was unable to attend the photoshoot.

 

By Carlee Stoyanovich, “Friends of Flint” bottled water drive organizer

News reports remind us daily of the unbelievable circumstances and the tragic consequences that surround the Flint Water Crisis. It’s hard to believe that residents living just an hour and a half north-west of us here in Amherstburg are facing such a burden. The poor people of this city are living in a public state of emergency stemming from the contamination of their water source. Flint’s 102,000 residents have been exposed to lead and other contaminants in their water, which have resulted in sickness, brain damage and even death in 10 cases. This highly political situation is currently under investigation, and the residents are still confronted by a tainted water supply. Representatives of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, the agency tasked with the collection and distribution of bottle water to Flint, states that the problem will be around for many years to come and they will always be in significant need of bottled water.

 

To this end I have organized a water bottle drive and hope the kind and generous citizens of Amherstburg will rise to the occasion and lighten the burden of our neighbors by helping them in their time of need.

 

How it will work

For ten days commencing Friday, February 26, four of our local stores will allow residents to simply identify how many cases of water they would like to donate to Flint as they checkout from the store. There is no need to bring cases to the checkout counter or lug them to a storage facility – just pre-purchase them and we will do the rest! Each of the sponsoring stores, which includes Sobeys, No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Canadian Tire, have set up a special inventory code for a 24-bottle case of water.

At the conclusion of the 10-day event we will tabulate the total number of cases sold at all four store locations. Steve Ondejko, president of Onfreight Logistics, has generously agreed to send trucks to Amherstburg to pick up the water and deliver it to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, for distribution to the residents of Flint.

 

My goal

It is my hope that we can fill, as a minimum, two semi-trucks with pallets of cased water. This would provide about 100,000 bottles of water (4250 cases), basically one bottle per person living in Flint. Onfreight has agreed to bring over as many truckloads as we can collect so I hope to see a convoy heading for Flint!

 

How can you help?

I know many want to donate but don’t want to drive over to Flint. Here is your chance to have the drive done on your behalf! Visit our stores and order cases of water. Encourage your co-workers to do the same. See if your employer will match employee purchases. There is much that can be done to help. This is a one-time opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need. I hope Amherstburg, and the surrounding communities, will rise to this occasion!

If you are a business or community member interested in ordering pallets of water, you can contact Carlee at stoyanoc@uwindsor.ca to make arrangements. Our facebook event page “Friends of Flint Water Week” will proudly list our corporate donors, so please get on the list today!

 

Final thought

The impact you make today can have a powerful rippling effect on someone in Flint tomorrow, for no act of kindness is ever wasted. Be guided by the inspiring quote: “never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out, and help”.   Amherstburg is known nation-wide as the safest community in Canada. Lets collectively get it on the map as the kindest as well!

 

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