West Tuscaloosa Church Delivers More than 1,000 Cases of Water to Jackson
Beulah Baptist Church in West Tuscaloosa rallied community members this week to participate in a water collection drive to assist the citizens of Jackson, Mississippi who are currently experiencing a water crisis.
The City of Jackson's municipal website said the city remains on a boil notice, which was issued on July 30, preventing citizens from having access to clean water. Packaged water has been sent from all over the country to provide citizens with water for drinking, cooking and flushing toilets.
After hearing about the issues Jackson is facing, Pastor David E. Gay Jr. of Beulah Baptist decided to help with the cause.
"We often do things like this. This is a church that's built on community service," Gay said. "We've sent trucks to storms in Houston and Mississippi and other places and we feel like when anyone has a need whether it is here in Tuscaloosa or next door, we feel like it's our duty. It's a blessing for us to bless other people and that's what we just want to do."
Gay solicited help from other local pastors and community organizations to collect water to assist with the crisis.
"We didn't do this alone," Gay said "We're sort of a hub so we put the call out saying we needed help and there were so many other churches, pastors and community partners who heard the call and supported us so it's been a real community effort."
Gay said about 15 church partners and 20 community organizations, including local sororities and fraternities, assisted with bringing water and lent a hand with other logistics that went into the drive.
More than 1,000 cases of water bottles were collected, along with several hundred gallons of water and hand sanitizer, so much that the church needed two U-Haul rental trucks to deliver the supplies to Mississippi.
The church made contact with administrators at Jackson State University, a Historically Black College and University in Jackson, whose leadership will distribute the water to those in need. The church took the water to JSU Wednesday morning.
Gay said the drive was a great way to help the citizens of Jackson, while also giving members of the Tuscaloosa community the opportunity to make a difference.
"It's been it's a good feeling to be able to help other people and we had so many people that wanted to help others," Gay said. "We could write a check and send the water, that's one thing, but people love going to the store, standing in line, getting the water and bringing in the water here. It makes people feel like they are involved."