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Guest View: Tears from #FerndaletoFlint

essentialTOPtempGuest View: Tears from blumzAD_VDAY_02#FerndaletoFlint

(Darren Bolsby, Jan. 30, 2016)

Flint, MI –

There are no words for the emotional roller coaster that played out today.

People from all over Ferndale, and all over other communities as well, have been collecting water to take to the people of Flint whose water is unusable due to lead and other contamination.

Level One Bank has been one of several drop off spots for water donations. Over a dozen people inroyal_services the #FerndaletoFlint group went to Flint today, caravaning in a flatbed truck donated for the day by Ferndale Schools and four cars that were full. Last week there were eight cars that went up from Ferndale.  The collection continues and the need continues.

When we arrived at St. Mary’s in Flint they were short-staffed of volunteers and the volume of people coming to get water seemed endless. We stood in a long row passing the cases down, and when the cars were empty we said of course we’ll stay.

Not only did we hand out water, we saw the faces of people who are sick and dirty, scared, tired, and angry. The stories we heard were heartbreaking.

The needs are so immense in Flint on every scale. Every person we met today is hurt. Hurt by the water. Hurt by the government that failed them. Hurt by the lack of response.MBREW draft one

I saw this older man cry for help because he has had a painful and itchy rash for a year, has seen three doctors, only showers once a week in filthy, toxic, poisoned water, and the rash will not go away.

We heard countless stories by several families of the infants that must be bathed and fed by bottled water, and the concern of mothers who don’t know the fate of their health because of the consequences of using poisoned water for over a year unknowingly.

My co-workers and I drove home with tears in our eyes but what about the mother of five kids who is raising them on her own and cries herself to sleep every night because her home is flowing with poisoned water?

We all need to stop for a moment and think about this. Think deep about using your water. Turn it off. Try to live as those in Flint are living.

DDAnew01We need to wake up the people; Energize the population. This movement needs to grow beyond our group and the other small groups in Michigan and around the country helping out Flint.

For anyone who reads this, I challenge you to go to St.Mary’s in Flint and meet the people who need help. Even with the pain of the situation, most are touched by the outpouring and grateful for the help. Now that the truth has been exposed, after over a year of secrecy, they can begin to tackle the problem. But in the meantime water is a daily, ongoing need. Seeing it in person has made us all even more resolved to keep doing what we can to get clean water up to the people of Flint. This fire burning inside each of us that are a part of this cause needs to grow.

Here are some of the drop off locations in Ferndale.  Thank you to everyone who is helping!

– Renaissance Vineyard Church | 1841 Pinecrest Dr: Mon-Thurs. 9am-5pm

– M-BREW | 177 Vester Ave: Mon-Sat 9am-9pm. Free coffee for all people donating!

– Level One Bank | 22635 Woodward Ave: Mon-Fri. 9am-5pm.

– Speedy Auto Service | 1030 W. 8 Mile Road: Mon-Sat. 8am-5pm


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