Church sends water to Flint

Published 10:03 pm Monday, February 8, 2016

The Rev. John Moore, pastor of The Experience Church, carries a donated case of water in Flint. (Submitted Photo)

The Rev. John Moore, pastor of The Experience Church, carries a donated case of water in Flint. (Submitted Photo)

Donors to The Experience Church’s water drive last month helped send two tractor-trailers filled with clean water to Flint, Mich.

“The second truck left this morning,” the Rev. John Moore, pastor of The Experience Church, said Monday. The church is located at 4165 Pruden Blvd. in Suffolk.

Flint made national headlines on Jan. 5 after Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in the city when water tested positive for dangerously high lead levels. Residents are now forced to use bottled water for drinking, laundry and bathing, according to Moore.

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Area residents contributed a total of 47,124 plastic bottles and jugs of water for people in Flint, making it one of the largest contributions by a church to date, according to Moore.

“Virginia showed up in a tremendous way,” said Moore, whose Facebook post challenging Virginians to donate water for Flint residents through The Experience went viral. Moore said he received calls and donations from people wanting to help from as far away as Florida and North Carolina.

“The gratitude was amazing,” said Moore, who made the first trip to Michigan to help deliver the water. “People were so grateful to receive the water … but there is a growing sense of frustration and anger.”

Some of the water was distributed house-to-house in Flint, Moore said. In other cases, Flint residents drove up to churches and volunteers loaded up their cars with bottled water.

Moore said organizers specifically tried to target Flint’s senior population.

He worked with a local church in Flint to help organize the event and distribute the water in Michigan.

Thanks to promotion on the Internet, The Experience received financial contributions from around the country to put toward the water drive, he said.

Moore said he plans to stay in contact with his Flint contacts and that he wants to plan other initiatives for the Michigan community.