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Local Churches, Community Groups Bring Clean Water to Flint

On Saturday, President Obama declared a State of Emergency in Flint, Michigan. Federal aid will now help the city in a drinking water crisis. The supply was contaminated with lead in 2014 while a pipeline was under construction.

A week before the declaration from the President, the Racine Police Department put out a release. They asked for water donations for those in Flint. A group of churches in Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee were a part of the effort.

"Within 72 hours of posting this, we had a plan in place to drive water to Flint," said Chief Art Howell, with the Racine Police Department. 

The chief called Pastor Keith Evans with the Greater Mt. Eagle Baptist Church. Evans is from Flint, and says he still has family there. 

"Being raised in Flint... Flint is a great city and has recently come into very difficult times," said Evans.

With the help of the local moving and storage company, Merchants, and other community partners, the group brought 72,000 cans of water to Flint on Thursday. Evans and Howell stay they're still collecting donations.

"We have to help, and those of us who have a heart for people and especially people like myself who have a heart for the city, we want to step up and do as much as we can to help people there who are hurting," said Evans.

According to the Racine Police release:

In response to this crisis, a group of local leaders networked on an emergency basis to develop a coordinated strategy to offer assistance. The resulting plan of action is simple in nature and anyone who wishes to participate may do so in one of two ways. 

First and foremost, the local clergy will lead this effort through coordinated donations from their respective congregations. Beginning this Sunday January 10th, a group of churches in Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee have pledged to oversee special offerings that will be earmarked to purchase bottled water. Subsequent distribution of the water will be managed by local churches in Flint. 

Through the power of social media, the local leaders involved in this effort seek to expand participation by encouraging other church organizations to participate. 

Secondarily, business organizations or concerned citizens who wish to contribute to this effort outside of church services on Sunday may do so by directing checks to the following address: 

COP Water Collection Drive 
Southeastern WI Baptist Pastors' Fellowship 
C/O Art Howell, Chief of Police 
Racine Police Department 
730 Center Street 
Racine, WI 53403 

Donations may also be submitted electronically through Givelify (https://www.givelify.com) via the following: 

Greater Mt. Eagle Baptist Church 
929 State Street 
Racine, WI 
53405 
Memo (Special Offering/COP Water Drive) 

Per established IRS guidelines for authorized 501c3 organizations, receipt of donations received through the Office of the Chief of Police will be acknowledged by formal letter for tax purposes (through the non-profit organization established in support of local police-community relations). 

The goal is to raise enough funds to send at least one full semi load of water. Additional water will be sent as resources allow. 

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