Since city officials in Flint, MI first warned residents to cease drinking water because of heightened lead levels found in the city's water supply on October 1st of last year, the crisis has reached endemic proportions. Lead, which has been known to cause memory loss, headaches, and stunted intelligence in children, has already been found in the elevated blood levels in thousands across the city, and will most likely plague the health of residents for the duration of their lives. And while the nation's conscience has been roused by this abysmal failure of state government and bombardment of media coverage, it brings no comfort to the citizens of Flint that their lives are forever transformed by the toxicity found in the most basic element that humans need to survive.
In the city of Memphis, where water is sourced from artesian wells and considered one of the softest in the country, it can be easy to take for granted the treasure flowing under our feet. However, when crises like the one Flint is experiencing flow to the top of news feeds and internet searches, the privilege of drinking clean, reliable water really hits home. Memphians are responding to that emergency, in ways both big and small. Here are a few initiatives currently taking place in the Bluff City to aid the residents of Flint, and how you can help:
1) Purchase a #WeStandWithFlint Shirt
On Tuesday, the NAACP chapter at Christian Brothers University announced that they would use sales from #WeStandWithFlint t-shirts to purchase bottled water and filters for residents of Flint, MI. You can purchase shirts HERE
2) Join the Grassroots Initiative by Posting on Social Media with the Hashtag #Memphis4Flint
Let's say you're sort of a big deal on social media. Instead of using that influence to post Drake memes or something about how no other dogs could ever be as cute as your street-rescue pitbull mix, share these resources to help the residents of Flint! Check out the stream of posts for inspiration HERE
3) Make a Donation Directly to the People of Flint
News outlet Tri-State Defender recently shipped 12,000 bottles of Memphis water, in collaboration with the City of Memphis, Memphis Light, Gas and Water and FedEx, to the residents of Flint, MI. However, you can still help by dropping off donations for Flint at their downtown offices at 203 Beale St. Suite 200, along with partner locations like the Bowden Internal Medicine, 1652 Madison Ave; and South Main Sounds, 550 South Main St. Read the press release and instructions HERE
Deadline for donations is February 2.
4) Join the Rest of Memphis in February 7 to Donate Items to Flint
You can drop off bottled water at these four locations around Memphis on February 7. Find the event information HERE