Madison organization rounds up water donations for Flint

Madison organization rounds up water donations for Flint

The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County spearheaded an effort Thursday to donate water and water testing kits to Flint residents affected by the city’s water crisis.

Boys & Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson said he, along with volunteers, intend to leave for Flint on Sunday morning. He said people can drop off supplies at four locations in the Madison area through Saturday.

“Just imagine if that happened here in Madison,” Johnson said. “We have a moral obligation as a country to step up when our neighbors are in need.”

Johnson said over 1,000 children in Flint have been affected by the lead-tainted drinking water. He said these children and families inspired him to step up.

“When you hear there’s young people and families that’s been impacted by lead in the water, and the long-term damage that does to young people and their families, I felt like our community needed to do something,” Johnson said.

Johnson said numerous businesses have stepped up to assist the Boys & Girls Club, including HyVee, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Metcalfe’s Market.

Metcalfe’s Market spokesperson Jeff Schroeter said the company donated two pallets of water to the Flint efforts, which is around 450 gallons.

“I think we all have an obligation to make a difference where we can,” Schroeter said. “From what we’ve been reading, they need help and I think everybody is chipping in to try and make a difference.”

Johnson said the response to his group’s efforts have shown Madison’s true colors.

“Madison is a very giving community, and we’ve seen it time and time again,” Johnson said. “If people can find it in their hearts to support our neighbors that’s right north of us, it’s needed.”

Johnson said groups in Flint are specifically looking for 2 1/2-gallon water containers, though any donation is appreciated.

Anyone can drop off water Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the following locations:

Boys & Girls Club: 1818 W. Beltline Highway, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Urban League of Greater Madison: 222 S. Park St., 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Joining Forces for Families: 2225 Allied Drive, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Walmart: 4198 Nakoosa Trail, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The final drop-off location will be the Fountain of Life Church at 633 W. Badger Rd. at 3 p.m. Saturday. According to Johnson, all water will be loaded onto trucks from there.

In addition to water, the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County is also asking for monetary donations to help cover the cost of fuel and other needed supplies for volunteers.

Johnson, as well as other Boys & Girls club volunteers, plan to head for Flint on Sunday morning.

“I don’t care how tough the neighborhood is. I don’t care if it’s a homeless shelter, food shelter or the homeless themselves,” Johnson said. “We want to get water to those who most need it.”