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Help Me Hank Water Drive: Big donations arriving

Metro Detroiters help people of Flint, water donations pour in


DETROIT – Help Me Hank has launched a major water drive to bring safe drinking water to the people of Flint. About 100,000 residents of Flint still cannot drink their water because of problems with lead contamination. Local 4's Hank Winchester has been in Flint all week and sees people lining up for water and there's a constant need for new supplies.

Working with Art Van Furniture stores and Catholic Charities of Shiawasee and Genesee Counties, Help Me Hank is working on a massive community effort to help provide more water to the people of Flint.

"Having clean, safe water is fundamental for the health and well-being of every individual," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture. "It is essential for all of us to do what we can to ease the extraordinary emotional and physical toll the water crisis has taken on the fine residents of Flint."

Donations Come Pouring In

In less than 24 hours, Metro-Detroiters started answering the call to donate bottled water. "Water is a basic need. We learned that in first grade," said
Chris Modrack of Farmington as she and her husband dropped off a truck full of water. "This is a great opportunity for Detroiters to help our Flint neighbors."

Modrack said her family and friends were quick to pitch in. She launched an online campaign, just among people she knows, and the response was quick and overwhelming. In less than 12 hours, she had donations for about $500, she bought nearly 50 cases of water at Costco, and delivered the bounty to the Art Van Furniture store in Novi.

Not only has Art Van agreed to be the drop off point for your donations (stores all over Metro-Detroit, Lansing, and Flint), but the company will use it's trucks to transport the water to Flint. It will be delivered to Catholic Charities of Shiawasee and Genesee Counties, which will then distribute to people in need and other agencies who can share the water with frustrated residents.

Modrack was prepared to drive the water to Flint herself, but was happy to have Art Van help with deliver. "This is perfect we did about a five mile drive instead of a 60 mile drive," she told Help Me Hank.

She wasn't the only one dropping off water at Art Van. There were a few other people each bringing their own donations. Art Van will be collecting water for about 30 days and working on weekly delivered, depending on how quickly the donations pile up.

"I just want to thank my friends and family for stepping up... also Art Van and Channel 4, this is what community is about," said Chris Modrack of Farmington.

If you can afford to help, drop off your donation at any Art Van Furniture store during regular business hours.

If you have questions you can email HelpMeHank@ClickOnDetroit.com

Or you can follow this links:  http://www.artvan.com/events and http://www.catholiccharitiesflint.org/.