Home » Louisville launches effort to help children affected by tainted drinking water in Flint, Mich.

Louisville launches effort to help children affected by tainted drinking water in Flint, Mich.

Goal is to collect shoes, raise at least $30,000

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2016) — The City of Louisville and several local organizations have joined together to launch a community-wide effort to collect shoes and raise at least $30,000 to help children in Flint, Mich. who have been impacted by high levels of lead in their drinking water.

flint_infographic-01Mayor Greg Fischer joined members of the Louisville Water Co. and its Foundation, Louisville MSD and WaterStep for the campaign, “Show Some Love for the Children of Flint with No Strings Attached.”

“Our community has already donated thousands of bottles and jugs of drinking water for the citizens of Flint as part of the West Louisville Urban Coalition donation drive,” Fischer said. “Now, we’re ready to help with the long-term needs of children impacted by the high levels of lead in drinking water.  Louisville is a leader when it comes to water—from the quality of our drinking water, to our research, to our green infrastructure and more. It only makes sense that we help in this crisis.”

The “Flint Love” campaign will contribute to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint’s Children’s Health and Development Fund, created in January to assist children and families impacted by the water crisis.

The groups are asking for the community’s help in filling a semi-truck with shoes. Used shoes of any size, style or condition are accepted. Typically, WaterStep sells the shoes to an exporter, and uses the proceeds to take safe drinking water systems around the world. But WaterStep will dedicate the proceeds from shoe collections this month for the Flint effort.

“We are asking schools, churches, businesses and individuals to host shoe drives and clean out lots of closets,” said Mark Hogg, founder and CEO of WaterStep. “We are hopeful that with the funds generated from collecting shoes combined with the community’s donations, we will be able to reach our goal of $30,000 for the children in Flint.”

WaterStep has more than 100 drop-off locations in the Louisville area. Groups can also bring their shoes to WaterStep, located at 625 Myrtle St., on Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon during a community donation day.

The Louisville Water Foundation, the charitable arm of Louisville Water, is spearheading the community drive and accepting cash donations. Individuals can make an online donation, or by check, to LouisvilleWater.com/FlintLove through Feb. 29.

“Louisville Water recognizes that we’re a lifeline to this community, and public health is at our core,” said Spencer Bruce, interim president and CEO. “The Louisville Water Foundation is focused on water assistance, and we can’t think of a better effort right now than helping children and families in Flint.”

The Foundation will announce its own donation later this month. Louisville MSD was the first to contribute, with a $5,000 donation.

“MSD employees quickly jumped in to help last week with donations of bottles of water,” said Tony Parrott, MSD’s executive director.  “A lot of us have family members in Flint and it is up to us to assist in any way to protect our children. “

The “Flint Love” campaign runs through Feb. 29.