Recently SunBlue Energy’s Operations Manager Laura Waldman traveled to Flint, Michigan, as part of Project845, a group of volunteers from Haverstraw, Spring Valley, and Nyack, who drove to Flint to deliver three trucks full of donated bottled water in response to the Flint water crisis.
A group of friends from Spring Valley, Haverstraw, and Nyack pitched in to gather water donations for Flint, MI residents.
What started as a grassroots, people-to-people effort and a social media post that urged friends to donate 1,000 bottles of water has turned into so much more. The project was initiated by a group of friends, including Chris Smalls of Haverstraw and Karl Dubuisson of Nyack, who were outraged by the corruption and neglect that led to unsafe municipal water and wanted to make a difference. According to Nyack News and Views, Dubuisson, a local rapper who also goes by the moniker XO Guillotine, “could’ve shipped the bottles through a government agency, but given the government’s culpability in the Flint crisis, they chose to make the drive and ensure that ‘[the water]’s going to go straight into the [Flint] community.’”
A few weeks later, donations had grown exponentially, with over 30,000 bottles of water (roughly 600 cases) collected and ready to be driven the 670 miles to Flint.
A Community Effort
Martin Hamadi, Martin Luther King Multi-purpose Center board member, with hundreds of donated bottles of water.
Even the U-Haul truck was rented by an employee who heard about the project, took some time off work to join Project845 and used his employee discount.
Spring Valley’s high school football team was on deck to load the thousands of bottles.
West Haverstraw’s mayor Rober D’Amelio stopped by before the team left to help load donations onto the truck.
Heading to Flint, MI
Project845’s first stop was delivering a truck full of the water to the Vermont Christian Church, which is serving as a distribution center.
To distribute the remainder they set up a line in an empty parking lot, waving drivers over and filling their cars. The “Free Water Club” let passersby know to stop at the corner of Saginaw & Alma, where volunteers from Project845 loaded cars with cases of donated water.
SunBlue’s Laura Waldman says, “The people we met in Flint are fighting for clean, safe water—something most of us take for granted. It’s up to us to care for one another.”
And we’re going back in April #project845 #weallwegot #flintwatercrisis #newfriends #grateful Thank you @raheemdadream A photo posted by Laura (@found_in_fields) on
You can still donate to the Go Fund Me page for Project845’s Flint water project.