PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Word of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan lit a spark in a group West Philadelphia business owners.
The group launched an effort to take clean water to help Flint families and now, their local initiative has gone viral.
Clean water is in short supply in Flint, where families are using bottled water to bathe and cook with as they deal with the aftermath of months of lead contamination.
“It really touched me very deeply and I felt like I needed to do something anything that I could,” says Ron Green, owner of What’s Up Africa Apparel.
In comes a group of young entrepreneurs. Green got the call via a group text message among friends and business partners. Their goal– collect 10,000 bottles of water and take it to Flint, Michigan. The group even created a hashtag: #Philly2Flint. Once the word got out, the donations began pouring in.
“Within 48 hours we got the whole city behind us,” says Nehemiah Davis, co-founder of the Nehemiah Davis Foundation. His non-profit helped to organize the collection effort, raising roughly 60,000 bottles of water. On Sunday, thanks to financial donations from a variety of people, the group of entrepreneurs rented a truck and hit the road to Flint on Sunday.
“We literally drove our big truck to the projects and funded the whole project with water,” says Davis.
“They were very appreciated for the effort that we made,” says Green, “they couldn’t believe that we came up from Philly.”
The group used connections on the ground in Flint to determine where to take their donations and went door to door delivering cases of water.
“It felt good to do something,” says Davis.
What they soon learned is that #Philly2Flint has caught on in other cities. Now there’s #Richmond2Flint and #Miami2Flint and more.
“We’re just grateful to be in a position to spearhead something like this,” says Green.
Plus, water donations continue to gush in Philadelphia, making more trips to Flint necessary. So Philly will be taking more brotherly love to Flint. To donate, click here.