Community Answers the Call to Help Shelter in Need of Clean Water

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

Rockford Rescue Mission resident Juan Collazo couldn't believe his eyes.

"I say the community has a big heart. I, I am pretty much speechless as far as that," Collazo said.

This truckload of bottled water is why Collazo and 150 other rescue residents are speechless. Early Sunday morning, this 24 inch water main behind the Rescue Mission broke, leaving the shelter without clean running water. Three area churches, however, rapidly answered the call, and in just seven hours, delivered hope, and H20.

"We were worried about brushing our teeth, washing our hair, little things associated with having water, and then all of a sudden, look at all of this. It's beautiful. It's great," Jerry Fitzgerald said.

"You wouldn't have figured that people would have responded this quickly, and we just found out this morning, and then all of a sudden we got rows and rows and crates of water," Collazo said.

And now, with thousands of bottles in house, these folks have the water they need, after tapping into a generous community.

"After the outpouring of concern and love for the Rescue Mission, the Rescue Mission will be able to come through just fine," Richard Sundell said.

An immediate response to a critical need, proof the holiday spirit is alive in the Forest City.

The water main break happened in downtown Rockford at the corner of Jefferson and Rockton. A Chicago contractor is expected to work on the pipeline. The rescue mission and other affected businesses, hope to get water back and running by mid-week.


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