Clean drinking water is flowing into Flint, Michigan again thanks to volunteers and celebrities like Cher.
Flint’s tap water became contaminated with lead after the city switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River as a water source, which caused lead to leach out of pipes last year. The federal government announced a disaster assistance program over the weekend, but volunteers had already jumped in to help.
Entertainer Cher called a friend at bottled water company Icelandic Glacial about sending a shipment of drinking water to the city. The company not only arranged it, but agreed to match her purchase.
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The singer and actress announced Saturday that more than 180,000 bottles will be arriving at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan (FBEM) on Wednesday to help those with the lowest incomes in the city.
The empty bottles can be returned to the food bank to be recycled with all proceeds going to charity.
Over the weekend, poor residents got help from the non-profit Communities First, which sent volunteers door-to-door Saturday, delivering and installing 2,000 water filters at every affordable housing development in Flint.
Two Muslim charities have delivered nearly 8,200 gallons of water in the past two weekends.
The Michigan chapter of “Who is Hussain?” delivered 30,000 bottles of water to the American Red Cross Sunday.
A week earlier, members of the Rochester Hills branch of the national youth group, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, delivered another 1,000 bottles to FBEM. Generosity is something the youth group is known for. Nationally last year, the young Muslims helped feed more than 180,000 people and donated more than 5,000 pints of blood across its 70 chapters.
“We saw what needed to be done and we decided to do it.” Dr. Aziza Askari with Who is Hussain? told the Washington Times. “We reached out to schools, neighbors, friends, mosques, anyone and everyone to help us by donating a case of water, or money towards a case.”
The city had returned to sourcing from Detroit water in October once higher levels of lead were found in more children.
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