LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 28, 2014) ― A University of Kentucky staff employee has initiated a water relief effort for some 300,000 West Virginia residents affected by a recent chemical spill into their water supply. Robert Singleton, an academic advisor for the Office of Undergraduate Studies and Student Success in the UK College of Education, is collecting clean bottled water and other items to deliver to West Virginia next week.
He is asking for bottled water, hand sanitizer or wipes, and diaper wipes. The collection effort is also accepting monetary donations to help offset gas and travel expenses. Donations are being accepted through Saturday, Feb. 1. A group plans to transport the donated items to West Virginia in a caravan of trucks and vans Monday, Feb. 3.
"I started this local effort because I found the whole situation to be very sad," Singleton said of the Elk River chemical spill that contaminated drinking water sources throughout southwestern West Virginia. "I initially thought I might be able to collect enough water to fill a van, and drive it to a distribution site. I put a post on Facebook that I was going to put an effort together. As I began working on it, the whole thing just kind of took off, very far and very fast. I’m working with other folks in Berea and Lexington who are involved in the same effort, coordinating our efforts and working to combine resources as much as possible."
With the support of the College of Education, Singleton is accepting donations in his office, Room 166, Taylor Education Building and is enlisting the help of the college's Student Leadership Council and Student Ambassador program. Singleton says Robert Maddox, assistant director for patient accounts in UK HealthCare, has been instrumental in securing donations as well, and UK Dining Services is donating 100 cases of water.
Other donation sites in Lexington include the Studio Players Community Theatre at 154 West Bell Court, Bluegrass Baking Company at 3101 Clays Mill Drive, and Actors Guild of Lexington at 4383 Old Harrodsburg Road.
For more information, contact Singleton at email@example.com or 859-489-8442. Information is also available about the water collection at the Central KY Clean Water to West Virginia Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/KentuckywatertoWV and about the overall relief efforts in West Virginia at the WV Clean Water Hub page, https://www.facebook.com/WVCleanWaterHub.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kathy Johnson, 859-257-3155; firstname.lastname@example.org