EMU and community partners launch water drive to help Flint residents in water crisis

Athletics department to deliver first shipment of water Jan. 29 in football team’s equipment truck

by By Debra Johnson and Geoff Larcom, Published January 27, 2016

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University and a wide variety of community partners have joined forces in an effort to provide relief to Flint residents struggling for clean water.

The Flint Water Drive is under way now until Friday, Feb. 12. Organizers hope to receive more than 500 cases of bottled water, along with gallon and five-gallon containers of water.

The EMU departments involved in the Flint Water Drive include the Athletics Department, Student Government, various student organizations, The Honors College, Bright Futures, VISION Office, EMU Housing and Residence Life and EMU Campus Life.

Community partners

The community partners are the City of Ypsilanti, the Ypsilanti Community Schools (H2O Strong Project), Romulus Community Schools and Gene Butman Ford.

The donation sites, all located in Ypsilanti, and their associated drop off hours, are:

  • The EMU Convocation Center (Loading Dock), located at 799 N. Hewitt Rd., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • The EMU Student Center (west entrance circle drive, drop off at information desk inside), located at 900 Oakwood St., 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • The Ypsilanti Community Schools Administration Building, located at 1885 Packard Rd., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Ypsilanti Community High School, 2095 Packard Rd., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  • Gene Butman Ford, 2105 Washtenaw Ave., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.
  • Ypsilanti City Fire Department, 525 W. Michigan Ave., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

The EMU Department of Athletics will be making the first delivery of the drive, taking hundreds of cases of water to Flint on Friday, Jan. 29. EMU Athletics and Corrigan Moving Systems will donate the use of the department’s 48-foot football equipment truck to make the delivery to the Brennan Senior Center in Flint, where the residents readily need and can use the water.

Football team members to help out

Members of the EMU football team will be on site to help unload the water on Jan. 29. The second and final water delivery of the drive will occur on Friday, Feb. 12, to either the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan or the American Red Cross of Genesee County, both located in Flint.

The Brennan Senior Center was identified as an ideal drop off site by the Taking Action on Flint Water website. Deborah Holmes, director of the Brennan Senior Center, thanked EMU and the Athletics Department for its generosity and caring efforts.

“Many of (of the residents) are not able to stand in line or go to water resource locations,” Holmes said. “Delivering the water directly to us will really help our seniors.”

The water drive is being coordinated by EMU Student Government Senator Evan Sweet, who helped bring together the various campus and community agencies in the collaborative effort.

“I came up with a plan for a bottled water drive after speaking with many students and staff at EMU,” said Sweet, a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. “I saw that the residents of Flint were in need of a necessity that many of us take for granted – access to clean water.”

For more information or to volunteer to help during the Flint Water Drive, contact Evan Sweet at esweet4@emich.edu.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Geoff Larcom



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