Flint volunteer: ‘They hugged us and took pictures’

Volunteers visited thousands of homes in Flint handing out cases of water.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Two Red Cross volunteers are back after spending two weeks in Flint passing out cases of water and filters to people affected by contaminated water.

“We ended up knocking on about 6,000 and we handed out about 4,500 to 5,000 cases of water and supplies,” volunteer Clayton Martin said.

Door after door Martin and Peter Kos worked to make sure the people of Flint weren’t being exposed to dangerous lead in their drinking water.

“We had to ask every household the number of kids that they have, if they have filters, if they do are they installed and what type of filters they had,” Kos said.

The Bryan, Ohio natives volunteered with the Red Cross out of Fort Wayne to help the people of Flint.

“I think they are just scared,” Martin said. “They’re scared of the unknown and we tried to reassure them and tell them that they’re doing everything that they can to get it rectified and who knows how long it’s going to go on. It could go on for months.”

They said they were blown away by the reaction from the residents they were sent there to help.

“I even had some ladies just hug me and thank me for being up there and volunteering to do that, so it was really great,” Kos said.

“When they saw the Red Cross coming a lot of them came down out of their houses and helped us out, knocked on the doors,” Martin said. “They hugged us and took pictures. They were happy that we cared and that we could help them.”

What may have been the most touching part of all was seeing people stop what they were doing to help deliver water and supplies to strangers.

“Somebody, you didn’t know who they were, drove up with a trailer full of water and they were just giving it out to people in the streets,” Kos said. “I think the community was coming together and even people coming in from the outside just bringing water that they were donating and just handing it out to people on the streets. That was great to see.”

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