Philanthropies pledge $125 million for Flint

Philanthropies pledge $125 million for Flint
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Ten foundations are pledging $125 million to support Flint, Mich.’s, recovery from a water contamination crisis, they announced on Wednesday. 

The coalition of groups is led by the Flint-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which is providing $100 million over five years for the effort. The funding will go toward clean drinking water, children’s health, education, community engagement and economic revitalization in the community. 

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In a statement, the groups said they are making the contribution because they haven’t seen sufficient action from the government.

“While some funds and services have been provided, we’re still waiting for the state and federal governments to step up, replace damaged infrastructure and make long-term commitments to the health and education of children,” said Ridgway White, president of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which is headquartered in Flint. 

“Today our foundations are stepping in to help. We envision a vibrant Flint with a robust economy, dynamic culture and healthy, thriving residents, and we’re committed to achieving these goals.”

A full list of foundations involved in the effort is here

The foundations’ support for Flint is the latest from the philanthropic or private sectors. Earlier this month, for example, Google announced it would donate $250,000 for research and assistance funding for the city of 100,000, which has been dealing with lead contamination problems for months.

President Obama, visiting the town last week, praised volunteer and philanthropic work in the city but said the government should be responsible for taking on most of the recovery work in the city. 

“Volunteers don’t build county water systems and keep lead from leaching into our drinking glasses,” he said. “We can’t rely on faith groups to reinforce bridges and repave runways at the airport. We can’t ask second-graders ... to raise enough money to keep our kids healthy.”

He continued: “Listen, it’s not government overreach to say that our government is responsible for making sure you can wash your hands in your own sink, or shower in your own home, or cook for your family."