At least Ms. MMK thought so. Therefore, she decided to do something about it and make it a teachable moment for our son SJ.
It was a couple months ago when Ms. MMK first read about the Flint Water Crisis. She was horrified.
SJ was nearby, and she decided to tell him about it. He understood enough. “Their water is like poisoned – people need water in life,” he said.
Once she was sure SJ understood the circumstances, Ms. MMK asked, “What do you think we should do?”
He said, “We should send them water.”
Ms. MMK was glad to hear the suggestion and pushed the idea further. “I want him to realize that you can do something big – give yourself and get others to give.” So, she asked SJ if they should make it a school wide charity drive. Before she asked him, Ms. MMK told him to imagine walking down the hallway and not being able to drink from the water fountain.
SJ agreed that they should get his school, H.B. Milnes Elementary School, involved. So, Ms. MMK contacted the head of the PTA. She was all for the idea and suggested making it “Quarters for Flint.”
Ms. MMK designed a flier which was distributed to every Milnes student. She purchased jars to be placed in each classroom. Before the jars were even distributed, SJ took action. “I helped by telling my classmates what we were going to do.”
On Wednesday, Ms. MMK and SJ placed a jar in every classroom. On the following Friday, they went back and collected the jars.
They lugged the jars home without having any idea of how much they had collected. They just knew that the jar-filled bags were heavy. Ms. MMK was hoping to reach $300.
After three hours of counting quarters (some donations came in other denominations), the grand tally came out to $747.30. Ms. MMK was blown away by the generosity of the students and families of Milnes. She said, “It was great that we were able to raise so much so quickly. I think people are motivated because the situation is unacceptable.”
David Stanley, a parent, teacher, and a Flint-area resident said of the effort, “I’m more than a little gobsmacked by the compassion that a bunch of elementary school kids, 700 miles away, have demonstrated. The parents and the school should all be very proud that the needs of a faceless group of children here in Flint moved their children to take action. And to the kids, you’ve done the best thing possible. You helped heal the world.” (Check out David’s video on the Flint Water Crisis)
Four dollars came from SJ who emptied his bank of quarters. He was happy to be helping, “It feels good because when you do a good deed, you feel good inside.”
Ms. MMK did some research on how best to donate the money. Ultimately, she contacted the organization Good360 and decided to donate the money through them. It paid for 1,608 gallons of fluoridated water. Here is the “impact story” from Good360.
Regarding the experience SJ said, “It makes me feel like I can do more for the country.” By the way, SJ is nine and therefore not yet eligible to run for president for 26 years. If he was eligible, I know he’d have my vote. Ms. MMK could be his vice president. As seen by this drive to help the people of Flint, they make a great team.