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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kristina Michel
Communications Coordinator
713-743-4162
kmmichel@central.uh.edu

UH to Host Water Drive March 11 for Flint Residents


Flint water donation drive

Houston, March 3, 2016 —The University of Houston will host a bottled water drive to aid residents affected by the water crisis in Flint, Mich. from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, March 11 at Lot 12A between Cougar Place and TDECU Stadium.

The drive is sponsored by the UH Black Leadership Network and the Office of Community Relations and Institutional Access. Donations must be whole cases of 24-pack 16.9 oz. water bottles. Single bottles will not be accepted, and no monetary donations will be accepted. Volunteers will be on hand to assist donors in unloading water bottle cases from their vehicles at the drop-off site.

The UH water drive is part of a larger effort led by the Black Heritage Society called "100,000+ Cases for Flint." Black Heritage Society has been coordinating water drives throughout the Greater Houston Area in cooperation with the Houston Food Bank and the City of Houston Fire Department. Other participating groups include Smart Yap Foundation, DJ Game Tight Entertainment, Pure Justice, A-Rocket Movers, Cut The Cords TV, the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters and its Houston chapter, Baby Ben Productions, The Don't Kill Me Movement and several ministries across the city. The "100,000+ Cases for Flint" campaign will continue until April 12.

"The needs are great in Flint, Michigan during this humanitarian disaster," said Barry Thompson, chief coordinator of "100,000+ Cases for Flint" and senior advisor to the Black Heritage Society. "Houston is an important component in the process of aiding the people of Flint, and I believe the University of Houston can help lead the way in terms of relief and solutions. We welcome the participation of UH in this important project."

UH became involved in the campaign after several of its leaders, including members of the Black Leadership Network and the Office of Community Relations and Institutional Access, attended a press conference hosted by the Black Heritage Society on Jan. 29. Water supply vendors at the conference issued a rallying call for the Houston community to assist in efforts to donate water to Flint residences.

"At the time of the conference, families were only getting one case of water per day for cooking, cleaning and bathing, which is clearly not enough," said Debbie Samuels, interim president of the Black Leadership Network. "The Houston community wants to help, and we thought this would be a great community service project bringing UH students, staff and alumni together to give back."

"The tragic situation in Flint has attracted national attention. The campus community has always been generous when given an opportunity to help alleviate suffering in such situations," said Elwyn C. Lee, vice president of the Office of Community Relations and Institutional Access. "We hope that the spirit of generosity will be on full display on March 11."

Donations to the drive will be picked up by the Houston Food Bank and Houston fire stations participating in the collection efforts. They will be shipped to water distribution centers in Flint, which will then deliver the cases to residents. Some of the Flint distribution centers include Greater Flint Outreach Center, The Flint After School Program - Flint ISD-Flint Community Schools, Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, The Muslim House, Inc., Reaching the World Ministries International, First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church and the International Association of African American Firefighters.

Volunteers are needed at the UH water drive to help out with setup, unloading water cases from cars and packaging the cases in preparation for pickup. Volunteers will work in one- to two-hour shifts from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the day of the drive. Those interested in volunteering may contact the Black Leadership Network at bln@uh.edu or at 832-842-4660.

"We are asking for all UH organizations to help support this effort, including our student body, athletics programs, faculty members, administrators and staff, and, of course, our alumni," said Samuels.

flint water donation drive

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation's best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city, UH serves nearly 43,000 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.