Michael Moore says don't send bottled water to Flint. The group that pushed to have Flint's water tested in the first place says don't send bottled water to Flint. But still, people are using their Amazon Prime accounts to send pallets of bottled water to Flint. Don't do this.
In addition to corporations who are trucking their own brands of water to Flint, a handful of celebrities have pledged over a million bottles of water already. This is great for short-term emergency needs. But anything more than that is throwing disposable plastic at a problem that needs long-term solutions.
As Moore so eloquently put it last night, the goal is not for the residents of Flint to be living on donated bottled water a year from now. They should be drinking their own clean, safe tap water. He recommends signing his petition to get a groundswell of international support for more serious reforms.
OK, so you've done that, but you still want to help? Here's the State of Michigan's official response site, where it suggests donating to one of four nonprofits. Although there are guidelines for donating water, why not donate directly to Catholic Charities Center for Hope, the nonprofit that's handling the donations, and let them decide how the money is best allocated?
Or help the group behind the federal lawsuit that wants to have all Flint's lead service lines replaced. Water You Fighting For is a local group headed by Flint mum Melissa Mays. It's accepting donations that will help push for more infrastructural improvements.
Or support science! Donate to help the research team that's been appointed to test and study Flint's water. An independent group from Virginia Tech scientists are working with the state to ensure that the city's water is safe and that the state is taking the proper measures (like fixing pipes) so this doesn't happen again.
And if you're really itching to use that Amazon Prime account, what do people in Flint really want? They want filters. There are plenty of certified filters which will provide safe drinking water for residents now and for years to come. Here's an wish list of filtering devices from Salem Lutheran Church which you can send directly to Flint residents and help rebuild their future.
Top art by Andrew Liszewski