By Jeff Salisbury
Despite declarations of disaster being announced, first by the otherwise powerless mayor (owing to the State of Michigan appointed emergency manager being in charge), as well as the Genesee County Commissioners and most recently Gov. Rick Snyder, the need continues for fresh and/or filter water in the City of Flint.
Reportedly FEMA is sending a contingent of investigators to the city this week, but in the meantime philanthropic agencies and even individual Michigan citizens have stepped in to fill the need for fresh, clean non-lead poisoned water for the 100,000 residents, area businesses and, of course, the local school district for drinking and meal preparation. Below are a number of options of how you can help as the Flint water crisis continues.
• The United Way of Genesee County has set up this fund for the purchase of filters, bottled water, and prevention efforts – 100% of the fund is used for these projects and no administrative fee is assessed.
• The UWGC has sourced more than 11,000 filters systems and 5,000 replacement filters, ongoing sources of bottled water to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and supports a dedicated driver for daily distribution. Source: Flint Water Fund | United Way of Genesee County – http://www.unitedwaygenesee.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=5
• Lansing resident Carrie Davis, a 29-year-old single mother of two, has set up a gofundme page for donations to pay for bottled water for Flint. She also has offered to transport bottles to Flint residents and organizations. For more information, visit gofundme.com/znffcz64.
• Detroit residents delivered 22,000 lbs of water to Flint over the weekend. Monica Lewis Patrick, of We The People of Detroit, LaMar Lemmons a member of the Detroit Board of Education and Tracy Leigh of TRUE ran an assembly line in a caravan of cars, trucks, and gritty, hard working Americans in the pouring rain to help get water to desperate Flint residents. You can donate your time, money, bottled water and filters here – http://wethepeopleofdetroit.com/
• If you have a tanker or flat-bed truck full of water or that could be used to haul water, you can take it directly to The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan- they can be contacted first here: https://www.fbem.org/contact-us which is serving as a central distribution point.
• If you have even 1 case of water to donate, you can take it to one of three soup kitchens run by Catholic Charities:
- Center for Hope, 901 Chippewa Street, Flint, MI 48503
- North End Soup Kitchen 735 E. Stewart Ave, Flint, MI 48505
- Owosso Community Closet and Food Pantry 120 W. Exchange St., Ste. 300 Owosso, MI 48867
• Catholic Charities also accepts donations online. http://www.catholiccharitiesflint.org/donate/
There are also smaller agencies around Flint that are giving out water. Among them is the Mission of Hope http://hope4flint.org , whose leader, Pastor Bobby Jackson, appeared national televison recently. You can make a donation here http://hope4flint.org/donations/ There is also a GoFundMe page for Mission of Hope.
Whatever you decide to do, thank you for making a difference!