First Coast teen leads project to help West Virginians

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Concern still linger months after a chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia, hospitalized several people and contaminated the water supply for 300,000 others.

A bill appeared before the House of the West Virginia legislature Wednesday that would safeguard storage facilities protect public water systems. That bill according to the West Virginia legislative website, was placed at the foot of bills on the first reading.

First Coast News met up with a teenager Wednesday who is trying to help the people affected in West Virginia. Dylan Emerick, 15, is a typical teenager. But he's also got a heart for the community and true passion for helping people.

"I have a tendency to care for others more than I care for myself," Emerick said.

Emerick saw coverage of the January chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia.

"It's not fair to them for them to have to go out and buy their own water to clean themselves when that water is being supplied to them by the city," Emerick said.

The events struck a nerve with Emerick and he stepped into action. He's leading a community service car wash for his upcoming bar mitzvah and as part of an organization called the Children's International Summer Village.

The goal, said this ninth grader, is to raise as much money as he can so he can get bottled water to affected West Virginians.

"They don't need to know who I am," Emerick said. "What I want them to know is that there are people around the country who care about them."

He's hoping the folks up north will be able to get thousands of gallons of water.

"This could change people's lives," he said.

Here is how you can help with Dylan's car wash:

The car wash is Saturday, March 8 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. at Applebee's at the St. Johns Town Center, which is located at 4507 Town Center Parkway, Jacksonville, Fla.


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