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Activists start charity to help people struggling in Flint

Apr 25, 2016

A group of Flint water activists is starting a new charity to help people not reached by government and other groups.

Flint water activists Arthur Woodson (left), Lee Anne Walters (right) and others announce the formation of a charity to help city residents
Credit steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Organizer Lee Anne Walters says Community Development Organization’s first priority will be to help people who find they can’t pay medical bills tied to Flint’s lead tainted drinking water.

“It’s something that needs to be done. It’s a great need in the community. And so this is where we feel we fit best right now,” says Walters. 

Walters says their initial goal is to raise $1 million, though she admits the need is much greater.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” Walters says with a smile.

Organizers say transparency will be a major commitment. Many people in Flint express frustration with the way government leaders and large charities have allocated money for Flint.

“You’ve had money that’s been sent in … and we have not seen one dime,” says charity organizer Arthur Woodson. 

So far, Community Development Organization has only raised $1,100. 

But Walters says she’ll travel to New York and California next month on fundraising trips.