A local drive to collect bottled water destined for Flint. Mich., met with great success as two trucks full of donations left Kankakee for the crisis-plagued community on Friday afternoon.
Travis Miller, the financial aid department office manager at Kankakee Community College, spearheaded the drive, and with help from area residents, Aqua Illinois and Grammy Award-winning singer R. Kelly, was able to gather more than 1,200 cases of water to bring to Flint.
Flint's water problem began in April 2014 when it changed its source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. As a result of the switch, corrosive water from the Flint River caused lead to leach from the pipes, joints and fixtures. The leaching caused many people to receive water with high lead levels and exposed residents, including children, to lead contamination.
At about the same time water was being transported from Kankakee to Flint, the Rev. Jesse Jackson was leading more than 500 protesters in a march to the Flint water plant to demand clean water and the replacement of corroding pipes in response to the city's lead contamination crisis.
Jackson was accompanied by ministers from the group Concerned Pastors for Social Action and Melissa Mays, a mother and activist who lives in Flint.
"Thank you for coming out to march with Flint, for Flint and for yourselves, because be aware that if it can happen here, it will and is happening everywhere else," Mays told the crowd before the march began.