TOLEDO, Ohio (WANE) – A Fort Wayne pastor is lending a hand to those affected by the water crisis in Toledo, Ohio.
On Friday, Toledo officials found a toxin caused by algae blooms in the water supply. Nearly half a million people are still being warned not to consume, cook, or even boil any tap water.
Pastor Bill McGill and his congregation at Imani Baptist Temple came up with the idea of sending water after their service Sunday morning. They took up a quick collection and raised $131. Pastor McGill went straight to Costco to buy the water and contacted a sister church in Toledo to find out where to take it.
In total, he bought 33 cases. He said the number was significant because it represented each year Jesus Christ was alive and ministering. The distribution center he delivered the water to near downtown Toledo especially helped residents who couldn’t travel to get safe water.
“We’re very happy to be here in the central part of the city, in the core of the city impacting individuals during this crisis,” McGill said.
Some of the people volunteering at the center said they drove for nearly an hour to find water over the weekend. They were extremely thankful for the aid from Fort Wayne because they said people don’t realize how important water is until it’s not as readily available.
“We were just discussing how we didn’t have a palette of water here in the area where people walk up to receive water, people who don’t have cars, so they say God smiles on you in weird ways, you guys showed up right when it was needed,” Brian Byrd, the Deputy Chief of Toledo Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services, said.
The central city distribution center had a constant flow of people from 8 a.m. until about 4 p.m. when they ran out of water. However, they did receive another supply of water about an hour later.
There’s still no timeline for when residents will be able to drink the water. Toledo’s mayor said drinking water samples are improving, but test results are taking longer than expected.