LANSING - Since the headline broke that high levels of lead were found in the city of Flint’s water supply, families and residents are in dire need of some H2O. Not only is their water undrinkable due to the switch of their water sources, but they are unable to cook with it or even bathe in it. Because fresh water is of very limited supply in the area, people around the Lansing community are coming together to help collect water to donate to Flint residents.
Jessica Heksem is one of the owners of Le’Mae Photography in Grand Ledge, MI and is a proud mother of four beautiful children. When she heard about the Flint water dilemma, it really struck home for her.
"I was reading a ton of stories from moms in Flint talking about how their kids have lead poisoning, they can't event bathe their kids with the water that comes out of the tub they have to use bottled water for baths, cooking, drinking, everything. Knowing that kids are getting lead poisoning is a really big problem because it causes a lot of issues. It made me so sad, like, that could happen anywhere…it could happen here so I just felt like I had to do something to help," Heksem mentioned.
Heksem decided to host a water drive collecting cases and gallon jugs to provide families in Flint with the fresh water they are yearning for.
"I woke up one day and said 'oh I'm going to see if there's a couple of businesses that want to help me out and be water drop spots'…I'll make an event on Facebook and see where it goes from there."
Heksem began asking a couple businesses around her if they were willing to assist in this project with no idea this drive was going to spiral into something so huge.
"It kinda blew up overnight. Everybody was just sharing it and inviting their friends and it went from zero invites to about 5,000 in just a few hours," Heksem stated.
Currently, there is approximately 20 businesses from either Grand Ledge, Lansing, East Lansing, Haslett and Holt that are collecting water and the list continues to grow.
"If more people want to be spots we will let them if they are able to bring all of their donations to one central spot," Heksem said.
Donors can drop off cases and jugs at these businesses during their business hours and once they reach water capacity, Jessica and her crew will go pick up donations until their drop off date.
"We had just planned on doing a drive on the 23rd for a few hours, everybody just bring their water all at once and so many people were saying 'well we need to get it down there quicker."
Heksem and her team plan on delivering water donations this Saturday, January 16th, as well as on Saturday, January 23rd. Although families and residents of Flint are in desperate need of a large quantity of water, Jessica and her team are very happy to give all that they can as they know, as the old saying goes "a little bit goes a long way."
"Its not going to be enough, they need a lot…but it's a little bit to help them out," Heksem generously mentioned.