LaFayette community unites to provide water: Over 1,000 cases donated

Published 9:00 am Friday, March 31, 2023

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Over 150 citizens picked up water in the first two hours during the Water Distribution from the city of LaFayette and PHYRE on Thursday. 

Over 1,000 cases of water bottles were donated on Thursday. More donations came in throughout the day as well. While citizens drove through to pick up cases, volunteers began unloading a truckload of even more water bottles from Golden State Foods. 

“We’re a resilient community, and we’re going to always pull together,” said People Helping Youth Reach Excellence (PHYRE) Founder Adrian Holloway. “It’s beautiful, though, to see our people in our community pull together just to make sure that we’re able to serve our community — but then even people from surrounding communities, just an outpouring of love and support.”

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Though LaFayette is using water from Huguley Water, many households in the city still don’t have any water yet. 

“There are other people that have absolutely no water so when you’re looking at flushing toilets, showering or brushing your teeth, they don’t have access to anything,” Holloway said. “The city is working very hard to try to rectify that problem. Until then, we’re going to do what we need to do to support.”

Those who do have access to water are under a boil water advisory. All water must be boiled for at least three minutes if it’s being used for consumption. Citizens are still being asked to conserve where they can because there is not enough water for the whole town.

Holloway, a LaFayette native, worked with the city council and Mayor Kenneth Vines to organize the event. PHYRE is an organization that works to serve the community wherever there is a need.

“In times of need, we are there for each other, and being without water, that is a high, high need,” said Volunteer Mary Allen.

Allen came out to volunteer as part of her chapter’s Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. The group looks for opportunities to serve the community. 

Around 30 volunteers passed out two cases of water bottles per household at the county Highway Department. Even more citizens volunteered to transport pallets of water bottles to senior citizens and those who didn’t have transportation. 

Police Chief George Rampey, GVA Chamber of Commerce Director Carrie Wood, LaFayette Main Street DeAnna Hand, County Commissioner Doug Jones, members of the LaFayette Fire Department and Chambers County EMA Deputy Director Kathy Hornsby also helped with distribution. 

“The supply has been great,” Holloway said.

Allen said the city has responded to the crisis quickly and kept the community updated.

“The city came to meet the need, immediately,” she said. “That’s important because water is so essential. We can do without food for a while but we need water.”

Some of those who donated to the water giveaway were Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Alabama Rural Water Association, Chambers County Development Authority, Chambers County Commision, Chattahoochee Hospice, City of LaFayette, EAMC Lanier, Equitable Neighborhoods Initiative(ENI), Estate Masters, Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, Hughley Trucking, J &D Welding & Fabrication, Krafted in His Image, SEA Timber Harvesting LLC, Terri Slade, StateFarm, Brandon Brooks, Cynthia Holloway, Tracie Holloway, Olivia Linson, Barbara Powell, Yolanda Ratchford and Kalandra Solomon. 

“We just appreciate the support,” Holloway said. “Like I said, LaFayette is resilient so we will bounce back, but we appreciate everybody just being patient and pulling together to make this happen.”