Dowagiac business owner looking to donate to Flint crisis

After helping to bolster his own local community, one area business owner is asking Dowagiac residents to donate to people suffering on the other side of the state.

Dowagiac IT3 Owner Brian Antisdel is teaming up with several local businesses to help collect bottled water to give to people living in Flint. From now until Saturday, people are invited to donate cases of bottled water to organizers for the collection effort, who are looking to deliver any collected water via truck to Red Cross relief efforts in the city Saturday morning, Antisdel said.

Like many others across the state — and nation — the Dowagiac resident was compelled to assist the people of Flint, which has come under national spotlight due to the high levels of lead detected in their public drinking water supply. With the poor being the primary people affected by the crisis, Antisdel felt he had to do something to help, he said.

“You know, it’s just not fair,” he said. “Something just told me to do something about it. So I sprung into action, got my circle together and now we’re making it happen.”

This past weekend, he got in touch with the owner of Benton Metal Recycling, where he also works part-time, asking if he could borrow a truck and trailer to deliver water to the Red Cross operation in Flint. The company agreed, and will help make the delivery from the window that the relief organization will accept water donations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Saturday.

“It’s three hours of driving in bad weather, but we’re going to it,” Antisdel said.

So far, several area businesses and individuals have agreed to lend a hand, including C. Wimberley Automotive, which is hosting the truck full of water bottles outside its Ford Dealership on M-51.

Antisdel is hoping to collect 22,000 water bottles for the relief effort by Saturday, he said. People who want to donate water can do so by dropping off 24-packs of bottled water to the truck at the Ford dealership.

“Just help us help Flint,” Antisdel said.

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