Tacoma local, Cathy Adams, has a stake in Flint, Michigan’s water crisis. For Adams it hits her personally. Her cousin happens to be none other than Thomas Rawls, the Seahawks second-year running back, who is expected to replace “Beast Mode” himself, Marshawn Lynch, who retired this offseason. Adams sounded the alarm at Shiloh Baptist Church where she has been an active member for over eight years. Rawls was raised in Flint Michigan. His entire community, including his family are impacted by the water crisis.
In response, Shiloh Baptist Church in Tacoma got involved. They united with The North Pacific Convention, which represents 26 Washington Baptist Churches across the region to raise funds.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that Rawls wants Washingtonians “[t]o just pray for Flint, Michigan, where I’m from, I can’t wait to go back home and help out with that. I may even try to dig a well and try to connect it to another city or something. I want to be Superman to my city. I love my city.”
Many are wondering why it is taking so long to provide aid in the form of clean water. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan is the only state in the country providing fewer economic resources to its cities in 2012 than it did in 2002.
Flint, a city of 99,002, is located 70 miles north of Detroit. According to the U.S. Census Bureau over 41% of residents live below the poverty line and the median household income is $24,679.
56.6% of the city population is African American. The Michigan State Department of Natural Resources reported that Flint River was found to be 19 times more corrosive than the water from Detroit. Fecal coliform bacteria and toxic substances are present in the current water supply.
Seahawks fans and area churches are doing something about it by sending water to Flint. Amanda Elswick McDonald, President of the Carolina Sea Hawkers booster fan club says, “One water pallet costs $163 and it takes 20 pallets to fill one truck with a total amount of $3,260.” McDonald is also funds coordinator.
Recently, four members from the Carolina Sea Hawkers club, which included McDonald’s husband, visited Flint. McDonald’s husband says, “I’ve never seen anything like this, people are walking with jugs of water each day like something from a third world scene.”
Marshawn Lynch collaborated with Seahawks running back, Justin Forsett along with other NFL players back in February to help send $100,000 worth of body wipes and water.
MacDonald shared recently on the “12s Helping Flint” Facebook page, “Help Carolina Seahawkers and Mama Rawls get this 3rd truck rolling. I am challenging all 12s to share & make a $12 donation every little bit helps. We all we need! We all we got!”