In search of love and kindness for Flint, Michigan

Through running the Crim Festival of Races for five consecutive years, I have come to appreciate and enjoy the Michigan city of Flint.

The rusty town welcomes 10,000 runners to the bricks each August. The Crim is one of my favorite races, not least because of the way the city embraces the event. Residents are out bright and early cheering, offering water and orange slices, playing music and volunteering at water stops.

The people are the reason why I love coming back to run on the bricks each summer.

Now, it’s those people I have in mind as Flint deals with a massive crisis–the citizens can’t drink the tap water, which is contaminated with lead. This is a national story now, one you probably haven’t missed.

Tonight, Gov. Rick Snyder spoke about the crisis in his State of the State address. I followed his speech on twitter, along with the swift reactions from Democrats.

The people of Flint need immediate action and accountability for this tragedy.

But that’s not what I want to write about right now.

Tonight, I had a drink of water from my kitchen faucet in a white cup. The water was pure and clean and perfect. It even tastes good, which I have never said about city water anywhere else. I take for granted that it’s safe when I make my tea and dinner.

My reaction tonight is one of love. And this is not to make a political statement; I’m thinking of the people of Flint. Of the children who had been drinking water containing lead for nearly two years.

Drinking my clean water after listening to the heated debate about this crisis made me want to do something good, as so many others are doing by handing out fresh bottled water and filters to those who need it.

I’m joining them by making a donation to ensure a few more Flint citizens get more clean drinking water while the politicians figure out how to fix the mess they’ve created in the city.

Readers, I ask you do do the same; please do something out of love and kindness. It doesn’t have to be a donation to a specific cause, just something good for someone else. Pay it forward.

In times like these, a little love and kindness can go a long way.

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