March 22nd is World Water Day, an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water-related issues, to be inspired to tell others and take action to make a difference. World Water Day dates to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating March 22, 1993, as the first World Water Day. It has been recognized annually since then.
Residents of Flint, Michigan, have been devastated by a water crisis that has left thousands of residents in desperate need of water relief. As a result of political and financial decisions, various pollutants with long-term detrimental health effects have fouled the tap water in Flint. Each day you turn on your faucet and trust your water system. The residents of Flint do not have that privilege, and it is up to us to help in any capacity that we can.
In January, Purdue graduate students Brandon Allen and Amonte Martin started a weeklong water drive campaign. They received more than 250 cases and 30 one-gallon jugs of water donated by the Purdue community. In addition, they received more than $500 in monetary contributions. Brandon and Amonte drove a van five hours to Flint and personally distributed and purchased more water to aid residents there.
While in Flint, they teamed up with local residents who were helping with the distribution efforts and delivered 150 cases of water to Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, which served as a drop-off location. They later delivered water to be distributed at shopping center parking lots. Amonte and Brandon were elated to be able to provide clean water for some residents. However, they left Flint wishing there was more that they could do. Some organizations across the country continue to provide help to the residents of Flint, yet water contributions are still needed.
Amonte and Brandon started another water drive that ended April 23. This time they specifically asked for monetary donations.