The Flint Michigan water crisis is one of the biggest disasters in modern US history, but thankfully there are some private citizens who are stepping up to the plate to help an entire city in desperate need [lead image by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images].
For those of you who have been hiding under a rock, the government of Flint, Michigan has been facing a serious health crisis. Earlier this year, Flint’s governement decided to stop using Detroit’s water and instead draw their water from the Flint River. The problem is that this water is 19 times more corrosive than Detroit’s water source, and that corrosion destroyed Flint’s lead pipes, which in turn caused the lead to enter the drinking water. People have been drinking this lead water for over a year.
The real mismanagement stems from the fact that Flint’s government could have added orthophosphate to the water drawn from the river, which would have neutralized the corrosive effect of the Flint River’s water. Instead the government chose to save $100 a day.
Although Michigan natives will rightly tell you that they’ve been dealing with this injustice for a long time, Flint’s Water Crisis has become a national issue. Here is a list of people who’ve been kind enough to donate.
Flint Water Crisis Donors
The Game: The rapper The Game and water company Avita have announced that they will donate $1 million in water bottles. Both parties will be donating $500,000 each. He wrote on Instagram that his younger sister and her children live in Flint.
Tom Gores: Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores announced on Thursday that he has pledged $10 million in relief efforts over time. Here are the outlines of his plan (via NBA.com)
- Immediate support for short-term relief efforts to ensure access to safe drinking water and infrastructure associated with volunteer programs, distribution of resources and other logistics.
- Funding for programs that help children, including healthy food and nutrition campaigns, as well as education and healthcare initiatives.
- Long-term support for economic development and revitalization initiatives in Flint and surrounding communities.
Jimmy Fallon Donation Challenge: Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, donated $10,000 to the Community Foundation Greater Flint and challenged the rest of his celebrity friends to match his donation. Here is the list of people who have joined.
- Rosie O’Donnell, Madonna, Seth Myers, Jon Cryer, and Judd Apatow
Big Sean: Rapper Big Sean has pledged his own $10,000 plus offered his assistance with a community fundraiser here. To date, that fundraiser has gathered over $50K–in part because of donations from WR Andrew Hawkins (who donated $20K)
Mark Wahlberg and Sean “P Diddy” Combs: The two celebrities teamed up together to provide 1 million AQUAhydrate water bottles to the community of Flint. AQUAhydrate is the same company you see on DJ Khaled‘s snapchats.
Kem: The Detroit R&B singer donated $10,000 to the Salvation Army in Genesee County.
Pearl Jam: The alt-rock group pledged $100,000.
Cher: The singer donated 180,000 water bottles to Flint.
Aretha Franklin: The soul singer pledged 25 to 50 rooms in her father’s church in Pontiac, pending a screening.
How To Donate
Even if you’re not a millionaire or celebrity there are plenty of ways to help out.
One way is to join in on Big Sean’s charity. Head to his website, then choose to donate the amount of your choice for the chance to get tickets to his unannounced tour. For every $10 you donate, that’s one entry. For every $25, that’s three entries. $50 gets you 7 entries.
Another option is via the charity that Jimmy Fallon donated to. The Community For Greater Flint is asking you to donate to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund, an especially important organization since the worst long-term effects of lead poisoning occur in children between the ages of 0-6.