Black Leadership Network partners to aid Flint’s water crisis
The Black Leadership Network is partnering with the Office of Community Relations and Institutional Access to host a water drive to support Flint, Michigan in its water crisis.
The drive, which will be taking place on Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of Lot 12A between Cougar Place and TDECU Stadium, will accept 24-pack cases of water for donations. However, they will not be accepting monetary or single bottle donations.
BLN vice president Elwyn C. Lee and interim president Debbie Samuels, the organizers of this event, said they are hoping to collect 700 cases to match Texas Southern’s donations.
The donations from the event will be contributing to the 100,000 Cases for Flint Campaign, which Lee and Samuels learned about when attending a Black Heritage Society seminar about the Flint crisis.
In recent months, citizens across Flint have gone without access to clean drinking water and have had to rely on rationed bottled water, Lee said. President Obama declared a state of emergency in January and allocated $5 million in federal aid to immediately assist with the crisis.
“I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk,” President Obama said when he visited Michigan in January.
Samuels said a case of water can provide for a family of four to eight people for about a day.
“They have to allocate that for cooking, cleaning, washing and everything else,” Samuels said. “We’re hoping to be able to send as much water as we can down there so they can get as many cases as they need for their family to stay healthy.”
Though 20 students have volunteered for various positions, the drive is still in need of more students to carry the cases of water during the event.
Students interested in volunteering should contact [email protected] to sign up.
The event is being held in collaboration with the Houston Food Bank as well as distribution centers in Flint to make sure the water gets to the citizens of Flint.
“We did a lot of calling to make sure everything would get there,” Lee said. “We want to be sure if we put our names on it, along with the Black Heritage Society, that it would actually get there.”
Lee said it’s in the spirit of Houston for its citizens to band together and alleviate suffering.
“I’m really proud of the campus and think we have a reputation in that regard,” Lee said.