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Group collects donations for Flint water crisis

| Friday, February 19, 2016

This week, Saint Mary’s College Justice Education Board is hosting a fundraiser in the Student Center Atrium for the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

According to sophomore Board member Alex Shambery, the primary focus of the Justice Education Board is to create awareness, understanding and advocacy for justice in any and all ways in the communities of Saint Mary’s College, University of Notre Dame, Holy Cross College and South Bend.

Raising awareness of the events in Flint was an ideal project for the Board, sophomore Board member Courtney Weston said.

“The population of Flint, Michigan, has been deeply affected by their water crisis, especially the children,” Weston said. “The children of Flint have been poisoned by the corrosive and lead-contaminated water. Any amount of lead is harmful to children and can have long term effects.

“These children have been exposed to the contaminated water for too long of a period of time, and the damage done could inhibit them from this time on. To help these children of Flint, the Justice Education Board has created the ‘Flint Fund.’” 

According to Weston, the Board plans to gather donations that can be sent to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund. The fund was established by the Community Foundation of Greater Flint in order to receive state and federal funding, Weston said.

“This fund will help provide affordable care to the children of Flint who have been affected by the lead exposure,” she said. “Each of these children deserve to recover and be healthy again.

“This is important to me because I do not think it is fair that these children from Flint might not be able to function to their best potential due to something that was out of their control. The Flint water crisis was something which should have, and could have, been avoided.”

The purpose of the collection is not only to raise money for the residents of Flint, but also to raise awareness of the injustices that had taken place to lead to the crisis, sophomore Board member Morgan Matthews said.

“This project not only allows Saint Mary’s College to be a part of the solution, but also teaches others about the injustice that occurred … [under] the Flint leaders,” Matthews said.

According to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund website, all grants will be advised by a committee of community members with representation from residents, Hurley Children’s Hospital, Mott Children’s Health Center, Greater Flint Health Coalition, United Way of Genesee County and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

To donate online, go to flintkids.org

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