These celebs and religious groups are looking to help Flint recover from its water crisis

Flint, Michigan, is under a lot of strife with its contaminated water. But religious groups, celebrities and even rappers are looking to help.
Jan 19, 2016

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  • The city of Flint, Michigan, has been under some strife recently as the city's water supply has been contaminated with lead.

  • But amid the disaster, there has been some hope. Religious groups and celebrities, from Cher to Meek Mill, have both looked to aid the city by providing water bottles.

  • Fiint's contamination began in 2014 when the city started taking its water from a local river, but the city failed to use necessary chemicals to keep the corrosive water safe, USA Today reported. Since that time, many children from the city who drank the water — about 8,600 — were exposed to the lead.

  • In total, 43 people had elevated levels of lead in their blood because of the contamination. It's unsafe for anyone to have lead in their body, USA Today reported.

  • The city's water supply isn't exactly pretty, either. It's mostly just shades of amber brown or golden yellow — colors far from the clear, translucent variety we expect from water.

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  • So far, Michigan's state government and the federal government have provided some aid to the city. It was on Jan. 5 that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a state of emergency to provide funds, and Jan. 16 when President Barack Obama announced a state of emergency in the city as well, USA Today reported.

  • But these two governments aren't the only ones helping out. Religious groups have worked with the city, too. Take for example the Muslim group "Who is Hussain?", which recently donated 30,000 bottles of fresh water to the city.

  • The group, which gets its original name from the Muslim prophet Mohammad, Hussain ibn Ali, prides itself on selflessness and giving back to the world, Mic reported. This is why the group has donated so many bottles to the city — other than the fact that a nearby city has one of the highest concentration of Arabs, Mic reported.

  • "We saw what needed to be done and we decided to do it," Dr. Aziza Askari, a representative for the Michigan chapter, 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 toward a case."

  • Celebrities have also aimed to help the city, too. Singer and actress Cher worked with water-bottle company Icelandic Glacial to donate 180,000 bottles of fresh water to the city, which should arrive by Wednesday, People magazine reported.

  • "This is a tragedy of staggering proportion and shocking that it's happening in the middle of our country," Cher said in a press release. "I cannot wait for the water to get there to help these people who have been poisoned."

  • Hip-hop artists are also looking to help Flint. According to The Detroit Free Press, rappers Meek Mill and Big Sean posted on social media about donating money and bottles to Flint, Michigan.

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  • Meek Mill specifically started to donate after social media users said he should start focusing on real issues instead of dissing fellow rappers, as he's done with 50 Cent and Drake over the last weekend.

  • Mill's response was, "I got 50k to donate to waters," accompanied with a challenge for 50 Cent to do the same, The Detroit Free Press reported.

  • Big Sean's response was a little less confrontational. The rapper hopes he and his family can help the city, The Detroit Free Press reported.

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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