USM student uses social media following to collect water for Jackson residents
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -While the boil water notice in Jackson has been lifted, some residents are still depending on bottled water.
To help those still in need, a student at the University of Southern Mississippi has taken it upon himself to lend a hand.
“So all 240 cases of this is going to Jackson, Mississippi,” said Bethal Miles.
Cases and cases of bottled water have begun to overflow the doorway of Miles’ college apartment in Hattiesburg. All this in just five days, after a call to action on social media, to help the capital city that has been facing water troubles since late July.
“Welcome to the edition of getting this water ready for people in Jackson….look at how much we’ve built,” yelled Miles in a TikTok post.
“And sure enough, I just posted a video and somebody donated,” said Miles. “This person donated, this person donated.”
“Went out and got the water, came back and a lot more people donated. A lot more people saw it.”
Miles, a Chicago native and a junior at USM, has a large social media following. With 18.7K followers on Instagram and 450K on TikTok.
With these wide-and-far-reaching platforms, Miles said he wanted to help those in dire need of a basic human right. The access to clean, safe and sufficient water.
“My whole purpose is to go to that mother that works three jobs, that doesn’t have a car,” said Miles. “I want to go to her doorstep, I want to drop this stuff off, I want her to have some type of sustainable water, just even be hygienic. My whole point is to get this to the places that need it the most.”
He said he would not have been able to pull this off without the donors and his friends.
“Without, like, donations from others and without, like, other people helping me out as far as transportation,” Miles explained.
“Like, I put 40 cases of water in a little Honda. So, without other people, it wouldn’t be anything honestly, and that just proves how other people want to help people.”
He is also grateful for the principles his fraternity has taught him.
“Omega has done nothing but help me kind of grow in that light of giving back to my community,” said Miles. “Our principles are manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift, and you hear that and you can just roll with it or you can hear that and actually do something about it.”
“You know, something we pride ourselves in is service to our communities,” Miles added. “Not only even just the communities of the colleges that we’re in or not just the communities that we come from but any community because service is service at the end of the day.”
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