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NYC teens head to Flint to bring relief to water crisis

YMCA teen volunteers load trucks with water that

YMCA teen volunteers load trucks with water that will be donated to Flint, Michigan. Photo Credit: Courtesy NYC YMCA

The people of Flint, Michigan are going to get a special and much needed delivery from a group of city teens this weekend.

Six young volunteers from YMCA locations in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island are traveling to the city Saturday with 300 bottles of water and donations for filters to help those families who still reeling from the crisis over their contaminated water supply.

The group and their adult organizers, who set off to the Midwest in a Uhaul Thursday, said they wanted to put their boots on the ground and show Flint that they were not alone in this struggle.

“In talking about their own communities and the problems they face, they were talking and relating to Flint. They said, this could happen to them,” said Yoko Liriano Director of Teen Programs at the YMCA.

Liriano said the idea stemmed from the Y’s after-school program where the teens discuss current events and the more they learned about Flint the more they wanted to do something.

Eventually, several branches decided to hold the water drive to the Flint Y branch which has been taking donations.

Fahme Ibrahim, 16, said he could relate to the Flint families. The Rockaway teen said he and his family had to live without water for a few weeks after Superstorm Sandy.

“Knowing that Flint was out of water for a longer period of time, it was unimaginable. I wanted to make sure we could give back,” he said.

Lirano said it the teens wanted to take the drive a step further and personally deliver the water to Flint. The experience, she said, would give the teens a chance to see how their efforts paid off.

Fahme, who has never left the East Coast, said he hopes his group’s efforts can help raise Flint’s spirits.

“We hear your problem and we want to do the best we can to help,” he said.


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