GoFundMe Brings Clean Water To Flint, Michigan

Posted on: 18th February 2016

For many of us, clean drinking water is a given. However, for others, it’s an expensive luxury, and residents of Flint, Michigan, know all about it. The water in their hometown is contaminated with lead, making it dangerous and potentially fatal to drink. The water crisis started in April 2014, and continues to this day.

Fortunately, there are people out there offering a solution. Charity volunteer Marseille Allen has used the fundraising website GoFundMe to found the Water for Flint initiative. Through this service, she has raised $51,731 for clean drinking water since last month alone. The money has paid for 76,800 bottles of water, which she and a friend have been distributing at a church, and outside City Hall.

To garner support, Allen posted a photo of her volunteer efforts on Facebook, and received an overwhelming response from friends, family and former classmates from Wellesley College . Many of them encouraged her to set up the crowdfunding campaign through GoFundMe. 

“I can’t afford to buy a $400 pallet of water every two weeks, but I knew there were people who wanted to be part of this, and wanted me to represent them and be their boots on the ground,” said Allen, who has also done relief work in Haiti.

“What the GoFundMe page allows me to do is serve as boots on the ground for people around the world.”

It’s not just Water for Flint GoFundMe is responsible for. It has instigated over 100 campaigns for clean drinking water, and raised more than $405,000 for the cause. This is a terrific example of the reach GoFundMe has, especially as it just announced it has raised over $2 billion for personal causes.

So what are the causes exactly? They are many and varied; one seeks to fund a memorial service for 32-year-old Domonic Prince, who suffered a fatal allergic reaction to peanuts. Five-time Olympian Shiva Keshavan has also used the site to fund her intensive training program, and aspires to represent India in the luge at the 2018 Winter Games. Even Ellen DeGeneres appealed to GoFundMe to raise $500,000 for renovations for a disadvantaged Detroit middle school, where many students are homeless or living below the poverty line.

In a world riddled with unease, it’s fantastic to know initiatives like GoFundMe exist. What's especially appealing is the site is completely transparent, which users do not often get when donating to a charity.

“You know where the money is going to. You know who’s receiving the money,” says president of GoFundMe David Hahn.

“There’s a sense of radical transparency and speed in helping a cause.”

Want to find a way to pay it forward this year? Find a cause you’re passionate about, get onto GoFundMe, and make a difference in the world!

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