Hundreds of elementary school students in Flint, Michigan, returned to school Monday to find a new way to safely wash their hands – all thanks to a 7-year-old boy who lives hundreds of miles away.
Isiah Britt of Gainesville, Virginia, learned about the city’s water crisis earlier this month, WTVR reports. When Isiah’s parents told him about how the city’s children were getting sick from lead-contaminated water, he let them know right then that he wanted to help.
The family decided to send bottled water to an elementary school, The Washington Post reports. When they called Eisenhower Elementary School to let them know of their plan, they learned that the school had received plenty of donated bottled water but were in desperate need of something else – hand sanitizer. Students were afraid to use the city’s tap water to wash their hands.
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Isiah got on the phone with the school’s secretary, Lisa Palermo, to find out how many classrooms needed help. He then told her he was going to raise money to get the school what it needed.
“His voice, his demeanor, everything about him touched my heart,” Palermo told the Post. “I’ve worked with the district over 20 years and I’ve never, the words don t explain it, he touched my heart to no end.”
With help from his parents, Isiah set up a GoFundMe page in the hopes of raising $500 – enough to outfit every classroom with a case of hand sanitizer.
After reaching his initial goal in less than 48 hours, Isiah and his parents set their sights on other schools in Flint. His efforts have since raised over $10,000 – enough to help all 12 of the city’s elementary schools. His parents told the news station that the family’s next goal was to help daycares or women’s shelters in the city.
“That was the best day of my life, trying to help a different school,” Isiah told WTVR. “It doesn’t matter if you’re small. It doesn’t mean you can’t do big things.”