Pearl Jam & Friends Donate $US300,000 To Ease Flint Water Crisis

25 January 2016 | 5:31 pm | Staff Writer

The venerated US rockers have initiated a crowdfunding campaign to further aid Michigan's woes

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In case you haven't been keeping up with the ongoing crisis in Flint, Michigan, the ailing industrial city has been battling a ghastly situation that has seen the discovery of dangerous levels of toxicity and corrosive qualities in its citizens' drinking water — a daily reality for those dwelling in Flint for the past two years.

The Flint water crisis has been gaining more and more high-profile of attention of late — previously, the state's governor was forced to declare a state of emergency in the town and request the delivery of bottled water from the National Guard before President Obama stepped in to up the response priority by decreeing it a federal state of emergency. But it hasn't stopped there.

As Consequence Of Sound notes, Veteran US rockers Pearl Jam are putting their significant clout to good use to aid the people of Flint, with the band firstly donating $US125,000 (about $178,100) to The United Way Of Genesee County, as well as calling on "friends and partners", which COS reports includes the likes of Live NationRepublic RecordsTicketmasterUniversal Music Publishing GroupWilliam Morris Endeavor Entertainment and others, to pull together a further $US175,000 in donations, while asking their fans to help join them in bringing relief to the city. It's not gone unnoticed, either.

"This is an incredible gift for the people of Flint, one that will help address our immediate needs in the community and long-term needs that will be addressed by the Flint Child Health & Development Fund," UWGC chief executive Jamie Gaskin said in a statement posted to Pearl Jam's website.

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Speaking in a preamble posted to their campaign page on crowdfunding platform Crowdrise, the band advised the money they had raised would be going towards "the purchase of water filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts" in Flint, with any remaining money left over — once short-term needs of residents are met — due to be donated to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund. No administrative fees are being taken from the crowdfunding campaign, which means 100% of the cash is going directly to help people who desperately need it.

On top of the $US300,000 raised by Pearl Jam and friends, the band have opened up their Crowdrise campaign to the public, who have, at the time of writing, raised close to a further $US53,000.

So far, the United Way Of Genesee County has helped source more than 11,000 filter systems and 5000 replacement filters for Flint as well as finding ongoing sources of bottled water for the Food Bank Of Eastern Michigan, and sponsors a dedicated driver for daily distribution of clean water. Find out more at the UWGC's website, and read up on the history of the crisis here.