Community comes together to donate water to Newark residents

Posted: Updated:

People from across the country have gotten together to donate bottled water to those who live in Newark amid a lead-contamination issue.

Newark officials have been giving out free water to some of the city’s residents. But others are joining the cause too – like Paradise Baptist Church in Newark. The pastor there says that all are welcome.

“As fast as it comes in, we’re giving it out to people that need it in this city, but especially women and children,” says Bishop Jethro James.

One of those women is Selina Alston – a mother of five children.

“I’m not sure if there’s lead in my water, but I’m just making sure that my kids are safe. They come first before anything,” she says.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Newark drinking water crisis
MORE: Newark drinking water situation FAQ

Newark residents have been receiving bottled water for two weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency discovered that water filters were not removing enough lead from the drinking water.

James, an outspoken critic of the government’s handling of the lead crisis, has put out a national plea for water donations so that everyone is able to have enough water.

James says that he has received donations from California and Oregon. Water donations have even come in from the residents of Flint, Michigan, another city dealing with contaminated water.

New Jersey residents are also doing their part – water donations are being collected at a senior center in Secaucus, among other places.

James says that he will be collecting water for as long as necessary. He says that he has given out at least 8,000 cases of water so far.

Mayor Ras Baraka is also urging all city residents to sign up to get their lead service lines replaced.

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