FLINT – As Flint water crisis continues to bite residents, unexpected huge help came from a Michigan Muslim woman who gave up famous Dr Pepper Twitter handle in exchange of thousands of water bottles to the city where high levels of lead were found in the city’s municipal water supply.
“I had been thinking a lot about Flint at that point,” Diana Hussein, 29, told ABC News on Wednesday, March 30.
“I didn’t feel there was anything that I was doing.”
Hussein, who is of Arab origin, decided to step in and offer help to the deflected city by giving up @DietDrPepper twitter handle she created in 2009.
The idea of the account, which proved of commercial value, came up to her mind as she was thinking of creating her own account.
Over the past few years, she tried reaching out to the giant multi-product company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, to see if they would be interested in the username.
“I hadn’t expected anything outside of maybe some free pop,” Hussein said.
Things changed in January this year when the company started showing interest in the account.
She made a post about it on Facebook, where some people encouraged her to negotiate a sale. Hussein said company representatives offered her brand merchandise.
Hussein’s decision was to relinquish the name if the soft drink company promised to help Flint.
“She wasn’t trying to come after a monetary value,” Dr Pepper’s public relations manager Brian Bell told ABC News.
“Diana was very straightforward. She was very open and honest with us.”
The Texas-based business delivered 41,000 bottles of water last month in exchange for the @DietDrPepper Twitter handle.
Hussein, who works as a communications specialist, said she was thinking “maybe I could convince them to do some kind of monetary contribution” to help Flint.
“When I found out they owned and distributed [bottles of water], I thought that was a really great opportunity.”