Flint water crisis hot topic at Clinton-Sanders debate

- The Flint water crisis continues to make international headlines as local groups continue to try make the best out of an overall bad situation. A waterthon at the Bridge Restaurant on Jefferson on Detroit's east side Friday is among the latest efforts to help our neighbors to the north get through this trying time.

"St. Vincent de Paul has been getting calls from around the world by people who are concerned about the Flint water crisis. And I think it goes to the fact that, if it was yourself, your children, and you were drinking dirty water or bathing in water, and you felt helpless, you would want to know that someone was there to help you," says Michelle St. Pierre

St. Vincent de Paul and 105.9 Kiss FM organized the day-long drive.

"In spite of  what people may think or say, Detroit is full of love. We're passionate and we're already ready and always ready to extend ourselves to help someone else," says Coco from 105.9 Kiss FM.

Cases of bottled water and much-needed toiletries started stacking up at 6 in the morning.

"We got a whole truck full of water. We brought diapers; we brought a lot of stuff for babies, too. I'm a new father so I understand that side of it. Even when the basic necessities aren't there, sometimes that other stuff falls by the wayside because you need the water," says musician Aaron Taylor. 

"It's real serious and it's unfortunate what's happening in Flint, and I just pray it continues to get better and make changes," says Tim Walton, a former Detroit Lion.

The drive comes a day after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced during a debate with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders that she'll be spending time in Flint on Sunday to see first hand what's been done and what's being done to remedy the situation. She'll try to use her trip to urge lawmakers to approve $600 million in federal funding.

Both candidates have been critical of the Snyder administration and its role in switching the water supply to the Flint River to cut costs. We now know a lack of corrosion control chemicals caused lead to leach into the drinking water.

This likely won't be the last we will hear from Sanders or Clinton on Flint's water woes. The city will set the scene on March 6 for what's expected to be another explosive debate on their road to the White House.

Meanwhile, drives like the one at Bridge Restaurant are helping with the road to recovery for Flint. The generosity of strangers is paving the way for progress for those on the receiving end.

If you'd like to make a donation to St. Vincent de Paul, visit www.donate.svdpdet.org. 

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