DirectlyTo: The Children of Flint

By DirectlyTo

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Through the efforts of DirectlyTo and Brand B Sports we are partnering with Tony Jones and Gabe Martin of Flint, MI to purchase at least 15 commercial grade water filter units. Each unit will be installed into daycare centers and other locations children frequent in Flint. Tony was a wide receiver standout at Grand Blanc and later at Northwestern University. Following college, Tony continued his playing career with the NFL’s Washington Redskins. He now works at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Grand Blanc, MI. Gabe Martin, also a Grand Blanc High School graduate, went on to star at linebacker at Bowling Green State University and now plays for the Arizona Cardinals. Please join us in support of this worthy cause.  - The Greatest Gift is DirectlyTo

When kids come inside from playing outdoors either at home or at school, it is natural for them to want some refreshing cold water. For these children, a simple drink of water you would think should provide them with proper hydration and refreshment. At no time should parents, teachers, or anyone else for that matter be concerned if the water they are providing to these children is going to cause irreversible damage such as renal impairment, reduced brain function, anemia, hypertension and/or toxicity to reproductive organs. These are real concerns for the residents and most vulnerable citizens, the children, residing in Flint, Michigan.

In April of 2014, the city of Flint Michigan made the decision to switch their water supply from the Detroit system to the Flint River. Almost immediately after making the switch, residents started to complain that the water was discolored and had a foul odor. To the residents’ dismay, a September 2015 study was released by The Hurley Medical Center revealing that the proportion of infants and children with above average levels of lead in their blood has more than doubled since the switch. This shocking revelation now confirmed the fears of Flint residents, many of which are children that the water they had been using for nearly 18 months to drink, bathe, cook, etc. is extremely toxic.

Lead has the ability to quietly leave its mark in children with a virtually invisible trail because many children, and especially infants are not typically screened for lead levels. There may not be many immediate side effects to lead poison and toxicity, however the cumulative affects impact multiple body systems which over time develop signs of mental disability and/or behavioral issues. According to the World Health Organization, children are most vulnerable because they absorb 4-5 times more lead than adults. This lead poisoning affecting brain development and central nervous system at high levels can lead to convulsions, coma, and even death.

No one in this country should have to worry about toxic levels of lead in the water supply. Although we cannot reverse what has already been done, we at DirectlyTo are making an effort to help prevent the continuation of kids being exposed to unsafe water, while providing much needed assistance with fundraising efforts designed to help the families in Flint with clean water to drink.

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