It’s mind-blowing that we are currently witnessing a water crisis in our country as we often hear news of this nature reported in third world countries where clean water may not be as easily accessible.
We were deeply saddened to hear that access to a basic life-necessity was inaccessible by residents in Flint, MI, home to 99,763 residents (US Census Bureau). Thousands of Flint residents are children who have been reported to experience non-fatal, but detrimental injuries due to their exposure to lead-contaminated water (http://www.wnem.com/story/30995770/united-way-estimates-cost-of-helping-children-100m).
As news broke out of this crisis, 100 Ways of Giving set out to assist Flint by enlisting help from Boston residents, coworkers, friends and relatives. We couldn’t just watch the news without taking action. With great support, we were able to drive 724 miles northbound to hand-deliver over 100 packages of water (over approx. 2,400 water bottles) to the residents of Flint. We also said hello to our Canadian friends along the way (a result of being mistakenly routed through Canada by the GPS…but we’d like to pretend we stopped by on purpose as the border patrol guards were friendly)!
Once we arrived to Flint approx. 15 hours later, we spent the evening getting acclimated to the local neighborhood and resting as we prepared for a day of hard work ahead. The following morning, our host, Detroit, MI native, Chris Kyle, joined us at our hotel to embark on a collaborative journey to help Flint. Chris Kyle is one of the leaders of the #WaterForFlint team, an initiative founded among a large group of friends who came together to respond to the Flint water crisis.
We worked non-stop for almost 8 hours unloading and delivering hundreds of cases. Not only did we deliver cases donated by our organization, we also helped the #WaterForFlint team deliver approx. 542 cases (13,008 bottles) of water. We spoke with frustrated, but grateful residents while others were left with gifts of 2-3 cases of water to return home to. We sweat, we cried, we laughed, we danced…and many supporters of 100 WOG got to see it all LIVE when #Blavity, a tech company for forward thinking Black millennials, let us take over their snapchat account for the day!
Members of the #WaterForFlint team were amazing hosts who made us feel like family. The energy surrounding the group was overwhelmingly positive.
We embarked on this journey to Flint because we wanted to give in a personal manner. This life-changing experience taught us the importance of giving, gratitude, compassion, understanding and love. As cheesy as it sounds, in those moments, we truly felt like we could heal the world. And, we can. And, we will. But before we do, here’s a look at how we impacted Flint:
For more information regarding how you can help with future service initiatives, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.