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Toledoans host Saturday water drive for Flint

  • Flint-Water-68

    Louis Singleton receives water filters, bottled water and a test kit from Michigan National Guard Specialist Joe Weaver as clean water supplies were distributed to residents in 2016 in Flint, Mich.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • MEETOO19-12

    Sheena Barnes, founder of Royalty United.

    The Blade
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Flint-Water-68

Louis Singleton receives water filters, bottled water and a test kit from Michigan National Guard Specialist Joe Weaver as clean water supplies were distributed to residents in 2016 in Flint, Mich.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

Local social justice organization Royalty Unite is hosting a water drive for Flint residents impacted by the water crisis.

People can drop off bottled water from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Frederick Douglas Center, 1001 Indiana Ave. Volunteers will then drive the water to Flint on Sunday and pass it out to residents in need.

Organizer Sheena Barnes is a Flint native who has lived in Toledo about nine years.

“I still have a lot of family there that’s trying to survive through this crisis,” she said.

The state-run water distribution sites in Flint closed this month after passing out bottled drinking water to Flint residents since Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder recognized the lead contamination in Flint’s water system in early 2016. Ms. Barnes has family and friends living in Flint who still are reeling from the water crisis and don’t trust that lead levels are safe. Her parents recently moved out of town for peace of mind about their drinking water, she said.

“We want to give them something to help them live burden-free for a day or two,” she said.

Ms. Barnes founded Royalty Unite and said the water drive is also receiving help from Impact Toledo, Toledo Pride, and NAACP Toledo.

“It’s sad that we have to do this, but it’s great that we have the support,” she said.

Contact Sarah Elms at selms@theblade.com419-724-6103, or on Twitter @BySarahElms.

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