SPRING VALLEY — It started out as a trickle but turned into a cascade.
A challenge among a group of Rockland friends to collect 1,000 bottles of water for people in Flint, Michigan, has turned into a countywide drive that has netted more than 20 times that number.
“Project 845” grew out of a social-media effort by people connected with the grassroots activist group We the People, organizer Hamadi Martin said.
Martin, a board member of the Martin Luther King Multi-purpose Center in Spring Valley, said Chris Smalls of Haverstraw and Karl Dubuisson of Nyack reached out to their friends and urged them to join their quest to collect 1,000 bottles of water.
“Once they issued the challenge, there was no way that we couldn’t step up and accept,” said Martin, of Nanuet.
The group – which also includes Watson Salvant and George Brooks of Spring Valley and Ricky Dogostiano of Nyack — thought they’d be able to drive to Flint in a car with whatever they collected.
But now that they’ve hauled in more than 2,000 cases — 20,000 bottles — they have another challenge: how to transport the bottles out to the people who need it.
Martin said they are raising money to rent a truck to haul the water to Michigan on Thursday. Members of Spring Valley High School’s varsity football team will be helping to load water into the truck Thursday afternoon at the MLK Center.
Bottled water and donations will still be collected after Thursday, Martin said, and the group will make a second delivery if needed.
Here’s where to drop off monetary donations or sealed bottles of water:
- Martin Luther King Multi-purpose Center, 110 Bethune Blvd., Spring Valley, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday.
- The Nyack Center, 58 Depew Ave. (by appointment only).
- For information, call Martin at 914-420-8631.
- You can connect with the group by using #project845 on social media.