After immense praise following her Super Bowl 50 half-time performance (as well as criticism from pro-police groups), Beyoncé made news with a fundraising announcement; the pop singer will campaign on behalf of children affected by the Flint water crisis.
An extension of her #BeyGOOD Foundation, the campaign will raise money for the United Way’s Flint Child Health and Development Fund, which provides for the nutrition of city’s youth besieged by the ongoing water contamination jeopardizing the welfare of city residents. Fundraising will also go toward Community Foundation of Greater Flint, which underwrites educational needs and health care costs for children.
The crisis began in 2014 when Flint city officials decided to switch the town’s water supply to the Flint River – a notoriously toxic body of water widely known to contain dangerous chemicals. The water is so corrosive that it eroded the city’s lead pipes, spilling the substance into the water supply and poisoning inhabitants.
Scores of other celebrities have stepped up to help Flint: the band Pearl Jam has donated $125,000; Meek Mill contributed 60,000 bottles of water; Big Sean has announced a $100,000 gift; The Game has pledged $1 million; Jimmy Fallon has committed to donating $10,000.
Working collectively, rapper Eminem, hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa, Seadn “Diddy” Combs, and actor Mark Wahlberg amassed 1 million bottles of water for Flint.
Beyoncé’s entry into the field is just the pop star’s latest philanthropic gesture. Over the years, she has contributed $7 million to fight homelessness in her hometown of Houston, Texas, and recently bailed out Black Lives Matter protesters in Baltimore.
While the financial contributions of Beyoncé and other stars both help ease the deleterious effects of the crisis and raise awareness of the issue, Flint still has a long way to go before regaining water normalcy. The situation could take as much as $1.5 billion to fix.