Government officials put the lives and safety of Flint, Michigan, residents in jeopardy to keep a dollar in the bank and save face, but the story of what hundreds of plumbers did to help those residents will restore your faith in humanity.
Some 300 members of the Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) hit the streets of Flint on January 30 to install donated faucets and other plumbing in homes of residents affected by the lead-contaminated water crisis.
The day began at 7 a.m. at the UA Local 370 Union Hall. Armed with the faucets and plumbing supplies, as well as Brita water filters capable of removing lead (which were provided by the state), the group set out on a mission to make life a little bit easier – and a lot safer – for many people in need of assistance.
“’PMI is proud to join with its members and the UA to put our vision of safe, responsible plumbing into action,’ said Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO and executive director in a statement. ‘We appreciate the generosity of our members, the UA plumbers, IAPMO and everyone else that is helping to assure safe drinking water for the residents of the Flint area.’”
In fact, people from all over the country have been chipping in to help those affected by obscenely-high levels of lead in the water system, and pipes that were corroded by the heavy metal.
“’People from all over the country, Canada, Cher, tons of organizations are sending trucks loads of waters and filters to us,’ said Lawanda Asa, 70. ‘I’ve even lost count on how many people are sending us water,’ she said. ‘It just goes to show how giving American people are. People that don’t even know us, have never heard of flint before are at our side. We’re so very blessed that the American people have such big hearts.’”
PMI and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA) teamed up to coordinate the humanitarian effort. All of the faucets and plumbing supplies were donated by PMI.
“A lot of our members live here in the community,” said Jeff Peake, organizer at Local 370. “We have a responsibility to pay back to the community.”
Needless to say, Flint residents desperately needed to be reminded that there are still kind, caring people in the world, after being lied to and sickened by the very people elected to protect them. It’s hard to believe a United States city would allow its children, in particular, to be harmed in such a negligent way.