Catholic Charities on the front lines helping Flint residents through water crisis

During the Flint Water Recovery Efforts, Catholic Charities is providing help to those in need through its Center for Hope Community Closet and North End Soup Kitchens. Families and individuals in need are able to take home bottled water, as supplies allow.

If you are interested in helping with the Flint Water Crisis, please visit our Fundraising link:


GoFundMe-Water Recovery for Flint
 page to find out more information and how you can donate!


If you are interested in helping us purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to help combat the lead,
please visit our; GoFundMe-Feed Flint Healthy page to find out more information and how you can donate!

Thank you so much for helping us continue to support the residents of Flint, Michigan! Through your prayers and donations, you are a blessing to us all!

For more information on the overall relief and recovery efforts in Flint, the most up to date water safety results and guidelines, and lots of other useful information, visit: www.flintcares.com.

Recipes other than HOM: Click on the link for recipes and tips for how to care for vegetables when you are preserving them!

Click Here to view the letter that Sr Donna Markham, OP, President of Catholic Charities USA sent to the United States Senate, advocating federal assistance to help cope with the continuing water crisis in Flint.

 

Below are the recent list of Point of Distribution Sites for Water Distribution.

 

• Ward 1 – Ross Plaza, 2320 Pierson Road
• Ward 2 – St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church, 3020 DuPont St
• Ward 3 – Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 4805 N. Saginaw St.
• Ward 4 – 2804 N. Franklin Ave – between Maryland and Dakota
• Ward 5 – Former Flint Farmer’s Market Building – 420 E. Boulevard
• Ward 6 – West Court Street Church of God, 2920 W. Court St.
• Ward 7 – Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, 3501 Lapeer Road
• Ward 8 – Lincoln Park United Methodist Church, 3410 Fenton Road
• Ward 9 – Eastown Bowl Bowling Alley, 3001 S. Dort Highway

BEGINNING OCTOBER 24th the hours for all PODS listed above will be:
Monday – Saturday Noon – 6:00 p.m.
There are many churches and organizations distributing water throughout the city as
well. Call 2-1-1 (or 866-561-2500 if your phone won’t dial 2-1-1) for more information.

 

Community members can do their part to provide relief by donating cases or gallons of water, water filters and replacement filters, cash or checks. If you would like to make a donation of bottled water, please note that we can only accept full cases of commercially packaged water or commercially sealed gallon containers of water. Water can be dropped off at OR shipped to:

 

Catholic Charities Center for Hope
517 E. Fifth Ave. Flint, MI 48503

Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm
Call ahead to 810-232-9950 ext.228 to make arrangements for delivery times.

 

Donations of all kinds, including clothing, personal hygiene, and household items, are accepted Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Center for Hope. Items are given to those in need at no charge.

 

Monetary donations are always accepted and can be made online or mailed to 901 Chippewa St., Flint, MI 48503. Please include “water relief” on the memo line of your donation.  All gifts are tax deductible.  For more information, please contact Catholic Charities at 810-232-9950 or email givehope@ccsgc.org.


FLINT, MICH. — Following the discovery of lead in the city of Flint’s drinking water, relief organizations have been working day and night to provide safe water to those living and working in the community. (Reprint from Faith In Flint).

Standing at the front of the battle is Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, which provides assistance — including counseling, substance abuse treatment, foster care and adoption services — to people in need.

Vicky Shultz, CEO of Catholic Charities, said the health and safety issues continue to be a “major crisis,” and the organization is distributing bottled water and gallons of water, as supplies allow, to families and individuals in need. Community members across the diocese areurged to provide aid in the form of donating cases or gallons of water, water filter kits and replacement filters, or monetary donations.

Vicky says: “(Water) is a basic need we have as human beings. We’re already dealing with poverty (and) huge unemployment in the city of Flint, and now we have water that’s not suitable to drink.

“The first population we know is babies. So when people come to our Community Closet asking for diapers … we’re making sure that everyone who leaves who has a child has the gallon jugs of water,” she says.

Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties is in the Diocese of Lansing. Bishop Earl Boyea, bishop of the Diocese of Lansing, has responded by saying: “The City of Flint has undergone many trials in recent years. Often, its people have faced the temptation to lose hope, to surrender to despair. The water crisis again presents that temptation, but again the answer must be to find strength in the love of God and the support of men and women of good will.”

Bishop Boyea went on to say, “In this Year of Mercy, I also urge Catholics, and all people of good will, to continue praying for the people of Flint. With prayer and fasting, let us call down the power of God on this city.”

Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties sits in the heart of Flint, and last fall, Vicky said the organization knew they were facing problems because the water not only changed colors, but smelled foul.

“We were being told … everything was safe,” Vicky says, adding that because of what they were told, they continued to use the contaminated water to make drinks and food, increasing exposure to lead.

The organization’s three soup kitchens served more than 185,000 meals last year alone, according to Chrissy Cooper, development specialist at Catholic Charities.

“It’s something I don’t think anybody expected it to be as big as it is now,” Chrissy says, referring to the water crisis. “Now, we’re trying to understand all the consequences, and I don’t think we have yet quite grasped everything that’s going to come out of this problem.

“We want to make sure people who want to donate know how thankful we are and the people who need the water know how to get it,” Chrissy says.

When the lead scandal came to light, Catholic Charities switched to bottle and gallons of water. Filters were then installed at its facilities. Vicky said it was “disheartening” to hear the news of the lead because Catholic Charities had been working with the city and the Salvation Army to help pay citizens’ expensive water bills. Prior to the news, the charity was also assuring hundreds of clients and employees that the water was safe.

“I think we’re just very disappointed that somebody really didn’t figure this out. It took a doctor having to do a blood test,” Vicky says.

Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency for Genesee County on Jan. 5, and on Jan. 12, Gov. Snyder activated the National Guard to assist with distributing supplies at established water resource sites in the city. According to Vicky, the number of phone calls from people wanting to help has increased, but so have the number of calls from concerned clients.

“We’re all children of God, and we’re supposed to look out for one another,” she says.

Bottled water is being distributed at Catholic Charities’ Center for Hope Community Closet, 517 E. Fifth Avenue in Flint.

Cases or gallons of water, or filters, can be dropped off at the Center for Hope location 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Monetary donations maybe mailed to 901 Chippewa Street, Flint, MI 48503.

Please include “water relief” on the memo line of the donation.  Monetary donations can also be made by visiting www.CatholicCharitiesFlint.org.

For more information, call (810) 232-9950 or email givehope@ccsgc.org.

By Cari Ann DeLamielleure-Scott
FAITH Magazine, Diocese of Lansing

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