When Dr. James M. Jones, assistant principal at Rosa Parks Elementary, heard about the growing water crisis in Flint, Mich., he knew he had to do something for that city's schoolchildren.

After all, he still remembered the water crisis that Toledo faced in the summer of 2014, when the drinking water was unsafe to drink for three days and he was worried about his own children.

He wrote up a few paragraphs quickly and started spreading the word that the student leaders of the school, including members of Young Men of Excellence and Young Women of Excellence, "will be asking each family, community stakeholder, school, and business to donate 1 case of bottled water toward our 'Children Need Safe Water' community service."

The idea spread like wild fire and Dr. Jones and Principal Angela Hickman-Richburg has been overwhelmed by the response.

From workers with the Ann Arbor Railroad Co. (more than 50 cases) to those at TARTA (more than 150 cases), to other TPS schools like Elmhurst and Whittier elementary schools and the Jones Leadership Academy, the donations poured in.

Several sophomores at Jones were glad to drop off what the school plans will be many drop offs "to help our brothers and sisters in Flint, Michigan," says Antonio Davis, assistant principal. He adds, "We would like to thank the Rosa Parks community for welcoming and allowing us to be a part of their leadership in this time of crisis!"

Students and TPS employees loaded up the first batch of water - roughly 2000 cases - on Tuesday, February 2 and three TPS trucks delivered them to Flint. The school plans to keep on collecting water through this month. Anyone wishing to make a donation can stop by the school, at 3350 Cherry St., between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., or call Dr. Jones at 419-671-4350.

As Dorothy Moore, an employee in the TPS Invoice Control Office, says, "This is an awesome project and a selfless act of kindness and concern to show for our fellowman that goes beyond the reach of our own back yard!"

Posted on January 29, 2016