When the water crisis hit the Benton Harbor Area School District in October, Allegan Area Educational Service Agency (AAESA) Superintendent, Bill Brown reached out to the Benton Harbor Area Schools (BHAS) Superintendent, Dr. Andrae Townsel to offer help in getting water bottles to their schools. AAESA employees were encouraged to bring in cases of bottled water or make a financial contribution. Allegan Tech Center students also got involved, collecting over 6,000 bottles of water. Additionally, Plainwell Community Schools joined the effort. The drive received coverage from News Channel 3 and FOX17 news.
After seeing the news coverage, community members started dropping off water at the Tech Center. According to Early College Allegan County Dean, Evy Houser, "We had one elderly gentleman who brought in nine cases of water. He said he did so because he saw the news reports and wanted to help."
Two trailer loads of bottled water were taken to BHAS and $1,100 in cash was donated. The cash donation enabled Allegan Area ESA to purchase two pallets of bottled water which were shipped directly to BHAS.
"We are all aware of the impact that access to clean water has on learning and community health," said Dr. Townsel. "The Allegan Area ESA's generosity toward the Benton Harbor Area Schools community is recognized and appreciated."