COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — It’s been two months since a train carrying hazardous materials derailed in the small town of East Palestine, Ohio. Since then, there have been concerns about the safety of their water supply.
Michael Kinney, a gate clerk at Pappas Trucking in Lockbourne, is trying to collect 625 cases of water bottles. He is doing it all by himself.
“It’s just been me,” Kinney said. “I load these up, I pack them up. I’m going to help drive them and unload them up there in East Palestine, Ohio, too.”
So far, Kinney only has about a fifth of the water he plans to collect.
“I need eight more palettes, so about 480 more cases,” he said.
But he hasn’t stopped yet. Kinney felt like he was called to help in whatever way he could.
“Being a lifetime resident of Ohio, just wanted to do something,” Kinney said. “I had the opportunity to here, and just felt the need to help out.”
Kinney has been in contact with Caring Hands Food Pantry in East Palestine and hopes Columbus-area food banks, organizations, and residents can get involved and help him reach his goal.
“It’s your home state,” he said. “You should help out if you can, and we’re all in this together.”
Though it hasn’t been the turnout he hoped for, he is determined to bring clean water to the people who need it.
“I set out to do something and I’m going to keep going until I reach my goal,” Kinney said. “I’m not going to stop. If for some reason, at the end of April, we don’t reach our goal, we will take up there what we do have.”
The water drive will run through the end of this month. For those who want to donate water, Kinney says he is at Pappas Trucking in Lockbourne every day from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Kinney said if you go to 433 London Groveport Road in Lockbourne and drive back to AG Container Transport, he will be at the office trailer down toward the end of the dirt road. Cases of 24 water bottles are preferred, but Kinney will also take gallons, five gallons, or any other amount in a bottle.