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Virginia 2nd-grader raises $10k to bring hand sanitizer to Flint schools

Virginia 2nd-grader raises $10k to bring hand sanitizer to Flint schools
Hearing that kids at a Flint, Michigan elementary school were afraid to wash their hands in lead-contaminated water, a Virginia schoolboy started a campaign to buy them hand sanitizer, and has raised enough money to cover all of the schools in the city.

Gainesville, Virginia resident Isiah Britt – age 7 – and his mother Danielle created a GoFundMe page on February 5 with the goal of raising enough money to buy hand sanitizer to help Eisenhower Elementary School in Flint. By February 19, they had raised more than $10,000 – enough to buy hand sanitizer for all of the schools in the city.

“We did it!” Britt announced Saturday on GoFundMe. “We have raised enough to send hand sanitizer to every school in Flint! Let keep going until all kids in Flint have clean hands!! Thank you for all the support and well wishes!”

Initially, the second-grader wanted only $500 to buy twenty cases of hand sanitizer – enough to supply each classroom at one Flint school.

“Hi everyone! My name is Isiah and I am a 2nd grader at Buckland Mills Elementary in Gainesville, VA. I want to help the students at Eisenhower Elementary School in Flint Michigan. They have a lot of water bottles from big companies but they still can’t wash their hands at school. So I am going to raise money to buy hand sanitizer for their school. $500 will help buy 20 cases of hand sanitizer (one case for each classroom).  Once we meet our goal, we will have the hand sanitizer shipped directly to Eisenhower Elementary School. Thank you for helping me!” Britt wrote on the GoFundMe page.

As local media in Virginia and Michigan picked up on the story, however, the donations came pouring in. Eisenhower Elementary received their first shipment of hand sanitizer just a week into the fundraiser. By Saturday, shipments were on the way to Pierce, Neithercut, and Holmes Elementary Schools as well.

“That was the best day of my life, trying to help a different school,” Britt told Richmond’s WTVR. “It doesn’t matter if you’re small. It doesn’t mean you can’t do big things.”

With the initial fundraiser a runaway success, Britt’s parents told WTVR that his next step will be to send hand sanitizer to daycare and women’s centers in Flint.

Once the headquarters of General Motors and a thriving hub of car manufacturing located 66 miles northeast of Detroit, Flint has fallen on hard times in the past several decades. State-appointed emergency managers ran the city of 100,000 residents between 2011 and 2015. During that time, a decision was made to switch the city’s water supply to the Flint River, without treating the water system to prevent corrosion. As a result, lead from the corroding water pipes leeched into tap water.