January 30, 2016

Adventist Volunteers Sought as U.S. City Grapples With Water Crisis

Seventh-day Adventist leaders appealed for volunteers to help distribute bottled water and and other aid in Flint, Michigan, after lead contamination left the city’s 100,000 residents without drinking water.

Monetary donations are appreciated as Adventist Community Services provides drinking water to residents of the city north of Detroit, but the need for 200 volunteers is even greater, church leaders said.A Flint resident picking up water from an Adventist Community Services' distribution point. (ACS)

“People would rather give money than their time,” said Diana Bruch, director of Adventist Community Services for the church’s Lake Union Conference, whose territory includes Flint. “The need for 200 volunteers to help is great.”

Bruch told the Adventist Review that she was scrambling to find volunteers beyond Flint who were willing to assist with the Adventist effort to distribute 10 pallets of water until new water-lines are expected to be in place around May.

Financially strapped Flint is mired in a water crisis following a cost-cutting decision last year to switch the city’s water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. The river’s corrosive water caused lead to seep from pipes, resulting in elevated levels of lead in drinking water that can cause brain damage and other health problems. Residents have been cautioned against drinking the water, cooking with it, and using it for bathing.

The Lake Region Conference’s branch of Adventist Community Services has teamed up with the Michigan Conference to provide the bottled water.

In addition to distributing bottled water, Adventist young people are assembling water-testing kits and adults are handing out water filters. The American Red Cross has made 80,000 water-testing kits available.

Monetary donations can be made to the Michigan Conference at 320 W. St. Joseph Hwy., Lansing, Michigan, 48933, and marked “Flint Water Crisis.” For water donations or to volunteer, contact local disaster response coordinator Debra Davis-Moody by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at +1 (612) 229-1676.

Adventist Community Services has asked for prayers for the volunteers in Flint.

“Please pray for the volunteers who are trying to meet the needs of the community who are in need of drinking water,” it said in a statement.

Read also Adventists distribute bottled water in Flint, Michigan, amid water crisis