Senior centers in Flint asking for water donations

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FLINT (WJRT) - (09/30/15) - Senior citizens in Flint are just as concerned about the water quality as any group, but some are not able to carry those big cases of water - let alone leave their homes to get to the store.

That's why there is a plea for donations.

"It makes me very sad that we have to worry about water," said Shirley Milton, of the Brennan Senior Center.

When the news broke that elevated levels of lead were found in the Flint water supply, Milton immediately thought of the dozens of "regulars" who come to the Brennan Senior Center.

"When we first heard about the water issue, we started to buy water for the seniors to have here during lunch time and throughout the day," Milton said.

After the City of Flint put out a lead advisory, they took their efforts a step further, offering their seniors water to take home.

"We'll be willing to share water, that is, if we have water," Milton said.

That's the problem - they rely on donations. At this point, those are not flowing through the door.

The same holds true at the Hasselbring Senior Center on the city's north side.

Center director Mark Rice said they've reached out to big box stores for water donations for immediate relief.

"We were very fortunate to have quite a few people sponsor that for us, so we do provide water right here," Rice said.

They've also made it a priority to get quality water to seniors who are stuck at home.

"For those that are home-bound but are still within our reach, we deliver it to them," Rice said.

As leaders in Lansing try to work toward a long-term solution for the water crisis, the focus in Flint remains on how to cope with it day to day.

"While it is a challenge, I really feel that if everyone can come together to make a difference, let's try to do that," Rice said.

If you want to donate, you can visit the senior centers at the addresses listed below:

Brennan Senior Center
1301 Pingree Ave, Flint, MI 48503

Hasselbring Senior Center
1002 W Home Ave, Flint, MI 48505

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