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Thank You, Flint!

This week is AmeriCorps Week! It's a week to recognize and show gratitude for the significant impact AmeriCorps members make in communities across our great nation.

It's also a great chance for AmeriCorps members to use their place in the spotlight to roll up their sleeves, strut their stuff, and get things done for America. This past weekend AIDS United AmeriCorps Members and alumni from Cleveland, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit did exactly that in Flint, Michigan.

We served at three different agencies: AIDS Wellness, The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, and the Greater Holy Temple’s public water distribution site. At each site, we worked alongside the community members to clean and organize, prepare resources, sort 10,000 pounds of food, and distribute hundreds of cases of water and other resources to those in need.

We also had the opportunity to meet with Jennifer McArdle of the United Way and two AmeriCorps NCCC Members serving with the Red Cross in Flint, where we learned about the community’s response to the crisis. AmeriCorps NCCC has been critical in doing community outreach, distributing resources and identifying those in need of water.

At the end of the day, our time in Flint was brief. It gave us a glimpse into the kind of devastation that has affected so many lives not just in Flint, but in communities around the country including our own.

Perhaps most importantly though, this weekend demonstrated to us that although the community is enduring a hardship, they are not complacent and they are not giving up. What we saw was the resilience of people and the recognition of their shared humanity. We saw tireless compassion and a desire to better the quality of life for all, regardless of sex or race.

Mainly, we saw hope.

We learned that Flint does not need anyone’s pity, and they certainly do not need more bottles of water. We listened to them and heard that what they do need is people’s support of the surrounding social services, such as healthcare and poverty relief, to help uplift the community. They also need the country to continue to use their voices to call for continued recognition of not only Flint, but other communities facing similar struggles. 

What they need, and we would wager what we all need, is for the people of planet Earth to recognize and remember that we are all in this together.

Thank you to the people of Flint, for welcoming us into your community and sharing your stories with us!

Posted By: AIDS United AmeriCorps/AFC Team Cleveland - Tuesday, March 08, 2016

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