Yesterday, a semi-truck from Dallas Johnson Greenhouses was loaded with donated water at Liberty Elementary. The water is headed to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for distribution to residents of Flint, MI. Loading the semi was the culmination of a project started by Liberty fifth graders in March.
Liberty fifth graders learned about the unsafe drinking water in Flint, Michigan earlier in the year. The community has been in the national spotlight since the state switched the town's source of drinking water over two years ago from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The river was not treated with an anti-corrosive agent and the water began eroding the iron water mains. Unfortunately, it also began leaching lead from lead pipes into the town's drinking water. The lead levels in children have doubled or tripled since the switch.
Fifth graders at Liberty, along with students at Evans and OHS held water drives with a goal of filling a semi. The drives ended April 8 with over $3,000 in cash and enough water to fill a semi.
U-Hauls were rented to move all the water to Liberty. Then JROTC students palletized and wrapped all the water. "We couldn't have done it without the help of JROTC," said Ms. Fisher, fifth grade teacher and project coordinator.
The greenhouse semi was donated by relatives of Wenk Podliska, a teacher at Liberty. The relatives own a large greenhouse in Nebraska and ship all over the Midwest. They graciously offered to donate shipping as well as fuel costs.
"We learned how to help people and get them the things they need," said Ryele Grooms. "You never know if we might need help someday."
Thanks to the following:
- OHS JROTC
- Evans "Tomorrow's Leaders"
- Community First Credit Union
- UAW 74
- US Coast Guard, Chief Fisher
- Wapello County Rural Fire Dept.
- North and South HyVee
- Auto Zone
- O'Reilly's Auto Parts
- Dr.Pepper Snapple
- Dallas Johnson Greenhouse