Madison gathers water for Jackson

Madison gathers water for Jackson

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Ridgeland High School seniors James Woody and Deanna Ruffin said their favorite part of being involved in the water drive for Jackson Public Schools is knowing they made a difference.

The City of Jackson last week lost water pressure affecting the entirety of residents and businesses. Water is once again flowing but a boil water notice is still in effect with no end in sight.

Woody said he was inspired to take part in the Madison County Schools water drive that started on Tuesday and ends Friday since his parents work for JPS and have given him a first-hand view of the ongoing water crisis in the city of Jackson.

“My parents come home and tell me how fortunate I am to have water because you need it for a lot of things,” Woody said. “It hits home for me, since they’re right there seeing what’s going on.” 

Woody said JPS students are students just like him, and it feels good knowing he can help and understand what they are going through.

“With us being so close to Jackson, this water will help with necessities of people needing to drink water, cook with it, or even bathe,” he said. “It won’t go a long way with it being such a big crisis going on, but it’ll be an impact, especially with other schools in this area being able to help our neighboring district. Everyone should reach out and help, and if you’re able to give, please give. It could easily be people like us, and we should all be thankful for what we have.”

Ruffin said she is happy she can show JPS students they are not alone and people care about them.

“Other schools in the Madison and Ridgeland area are looking out for JPS students, and they shouldn’t give up hope,” Ruffin said. “We’re getting them the water they need. You can’t survive without water. Your body needs that no matter how much Gatorade or anything else you drink. For them to be deprived of that is not good.”

“Jackson is the capitol of Mississippi, and the water problem there has been a problem ever since Jackson was founded,” Ruffin said. “Since the citizens of Jackson have no water and water is a natural resource, and people need it to live, it’s a big problem that needs to be fixed. It’s been going on way too long.”

Ridgeland High School is one of several schools in the Madison County School District taking part in the water drive, including Germantown, Madison Central, and Velma Jackson.

Madison County Schools Superintendent Charlotte Seals said the water drive began on Sep. 6 and runs through Friday, Sept. 9. She said the inspiration to do the drive struck when teachers, parents, administrators, and students from across Madison County reached out and asked how they could help during JPS’s time of need.

She said anyone who cannot assist in this opportunity is encouraged to reach out to other community partners, such as churches or civic groups, to see how they might make a difference.

“We hope that this show of support will let the teachers and students of JPS know that as fellow educators and students, as fellow Mississippians, we love them and we care,” Seals said. “Instilling in our students the desire to serve the community and help others is a goal we work towards in numerous ways.

Seals said there is not a specific goal of how much water the district hopes to collect.

“We just have a goal of coming together in Madison County Schools to help our friends and neighbors in Jackson Public Schools,” she said. “Once we finish collecting the cases of water bottles and know the scope of the donations, we will finalize the logistics of getting the water to JPS.”

Those interested in participating in the JPS water drive can drop water off at Ridgeland High School, Madison Central, Germantown, or Velma Jackson. For more information, contact Madison County Schools at 601-499-0800.  





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