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Oakwood University Church is doing its part to help people in Texas

Oakwood University Church is taking up water bottle donations to send to Houston, Texas.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The winter storm has taken its toll on Texas, for example, water pipes burst due to the extremely cold weather causing a water shortage. The boil water notice in Houston may have been lifted, but about half of Texans still have water supply issues. 

Oakwood University Church served as a water bottle collection site on Monday, February 22, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon. 

All of the collected cases of bottled water will be transported to Houston, Texas, and distributed to community residents on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, at 12:00 p.m.

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"Our brothers and sisters there in the state of Texas have been going through a lot, given the recent storms, winter storms there. They have had no electricity, they have had no water. So, we wanna aid them, we wanna help them, we wanna assist them and so with that, we decided to engage in a water drive," said Dr. Carlton Byrd, Senior Pastor at Oakwood University Church. 

The words water and essential go hand in hand, and several million Texans still don't have drinkable water days after last week's storm.

"Water is the essential part of life, we must have water," said James Swan from WeCare Alabama. 

"Water is an essential commodity, without water we don't live. We drink water, we wash with water, we bathe with water, we brush our teeth with water. We need water," said Byrd. 

Hundreds of folks from across the Tennessee Valley came together today to help their fellow Americans struggling since last week's deadly storm. 

The church has received around 30,000 water bottles to donate to Texas so far. 

"We're gonna make sure that we can do our part by at least providing the most essential thing that a person can have in life - water," said Swan. 

The cases of water will travel hundreds of miles and over 12 hours to make their way to Houston, where it will be given to those in dire need of clean water.

This need for water is immediate, but that's not the only thing Texans need.

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"In addition to water, we'll be collecting new and gently used clothing, in addition to that cleaning supplies, in addition to that feminine products, we'll collect all of those and take them to Houston," said Byrd. 

Both sources have a special place for Texas in their hearts. Fifteen years ago, Byrd was a pastor at the church where the bottled water will be sent and Swan's family is actually from Texas. 

"My family's from Houston, my mother, she recently moved here from Houston, since COVID we haven't been able to go back but since this disaster has happened, we tried to come up with a great idea to try and help our people," said Swan. 

Oakwood will be taking clothing, supplies and more water donations throughout the week and will take another trip to Houston later this week. If donations keep coming in after that trip, they will make another to provide more support to Texans. 

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For more information contact Pastor Paul Goodridge, Associate Pastor of the Oakwood University Church and Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Director for the South Central Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, at 352-207-3451 or send an email to pgoodridge@oucsda.org.

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