Source: Detroit News
When Dearborn Michigan resident Diana Hussein selected her Twitter handle by glancing at a can of Diet Dr Pepper during a research class in 2009, she never imagined that fateful choice might one day help others in need.
The communications specialist kept the handle @DietDrPepper as her musings on everything from athletics to pop culture on the micro-blogging site eventually earned her nearly 1,800 followers. But she said the company that produces her beloved soda only reached out this year about seriously trading it.
Officials initially offered “swag,” but the 29-year-old instead asked that Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which owns Deja Blue water, aid the families still grappling with the outcome of aging pipes having leached lead into Flint Michigan’s drinking water supply.
She agreed to let the company behind the popular soft drink take her well-known moniker in exchange for some 41,000 water bottles distributed to Flint residents affected by the water crisis. So they carted a whole truckload toting an estimated $5,000 worth of water bottle pallets to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
At her new Twitter handle @heyaDiana, users applauded the act.
“Good job Miss Hussein, good job,” one supporter wrote.
Another tweeted: “Beautifully done.”
The virtual reaction has been “overwhelming,” Hussein said. “I’m impressed how positive the Internet has been. Normally there’s a lot more negativity coming from people. … Even my father was reading comments and he was really overwhelmed by what people are saying.”
Along with the donation, Hussein hopes others step up to help as the Flint water crisis continues. “Those people are still greatly affected,” she said. “The outlook for when things are going to be fixed for them is not any time soon.”
To her, it was all about seizing a flood of support. “As long as you’re bold, there is a way to make things happen if you are given those opportunities,” Hussein said Tuesday night. “You can never really predict a situation of this magnitude.”