United Methodists make a major contribution to continue water relief for Flint residents.
MAY 7, 2018 | Flint, Michigan — This morning Bishop David A. Bard presented a check to water recovery leaders and members of the community gathered in the parking lot of Flint: Bethel United Methodist Church. The donation was received by Greg Timmons, Executive Director of Flint Recovery for The United Methodist Church; Kara-Lyn D. Ross, Interim President of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan; and the Rev. Tommy McDoniel, pastor of Flint: Asbury United Methodist Church.
Bard began, “On behalf of Michigan United Methodists and United Methodists from all over the country who have contributed to the needs of Flint, I’d like to present a check for $55,000 for the work of the Help Centers here in Flint.” The bishop continued, “We are delighted out of our sense of faith to be a part of the effort to provide clean water and resources to the people of the city.”
Ross responded on behalf of the three Help Centers. “These Help Centers have been helping over 460,000 people here in Flint for the past 18 months.” She said that help would continue through support of community partners, providing resources and wrap-around services to residents. “We are honored to have this gift,” she concluded.
Since the beginning of the Flint Water Crisis , community groups and faith-based organizations have played a big role in the recovery efforts. Help Centers were established at three local churches to serve as community hubs, providing a multitude of resources for Flint residents, all in one spot. These Help Centers operate under the motto of, “Moving Forward Together.”
The Help Centers opened in October 2016 and have served more than 153,000 households. As the recovery efforts progress, the Help Centers continue to offer free services three days a week; one day at each of the three Help Center locations at Bethel and Asbury United Methodist churches and Greater Temple Church of God in Christ.
Through collaboration with a wide variety of community partners, the Help Centers provide lead-mitigating nutritious food, water-related supplies including filter cartridges and bottled water when available, educational opportunities, on-site enrollment for health and basic-needs services, employment resources, mental and physical health options and other community resource information.
Help Center partners include: City of Flint, CORE, Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Genesee County Health Department, Genesee Health System, Greater Flint Health Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, Hamilton Community Health Network, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development, Mott Community College Workforce Development, United Way of Genesee County, Valley Area Agency of Aging and others.
The United Methodist Church has been actively supporting Flint during the Water Crisis Recovery. Local Flint congregations responded immediately to the crisis coordinating with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) which funded a new staff position to coordinate bottled water and filter distribution, volunteers, and various other health sustaining items. The United Methodist Church also engages the people of Flint through the Help Centers, AFN Home Delivery services, Community Gardening and other charitable initiatives.
The Michigan Area United Methodist donation of $55,000 is intended to support the Help Centers. The Help Centers have proven to be a reliable and trusted resource for community support. This gift will be used to supply bottled water for Flint residents.