How to help with the Flint water crisis

The Long Haul: supporting the future of Flint children


    The Long Haul: supporting the future of Flint children


The Long Haul: supporting the future of Flint children 01:22

(CNN)Flint, Michigan, is suffering a major water crisis.

The city's water supply is contaminated with toxic levels of lead and iron, and residents are unable to drink the tap water.
Virginia Tech researchers say the lead levels are "much, much better" than they were in August but "people should keep using their lead filters and bottled water until further notice."
    Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of emergency in Flint and asked state legislators for $28 million for immediate actions. Congress is proposing $250 million in assistance for Flint and other cities affected by contaminated water.
    Although charities have been assisting Flint residents since January, these organizations still need your help. Flint's water is still contaminated while the city works to replace the pipes, and residents are in dire need of clean water to drink, cook, and bathe.
    There are several organizations helping in the effort:
    Convoy of Hope, based in Missouri, has donated and driven nine truckloads of bottled water to Flint. The organization partnered with four churches in Flint that distribute the water.
    There are distribution points set up where residents can drive through, and volunteers load up their car with water. Several of the churches also go door-to-door around Flint to deliver water. Convoy of Hope only accepts monetary donations.
    Flint Child Health & Development Fund is focused on the long-term medical and educational needs of children affected by the water crisis. It will "support the delivery of critical public health, medical, and community-based services and interventions" to help children in the city who were exposed to lead in the drinking water, according to its website.
    The fund will provide early literacy programs, school health services, and nutrition education for children affected by lead poisoning in Flint for years to come.
    According to Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, pediatrician at Hurley Children's Hospital in Flint, lead poisoning affects cognition, can lower a child's IQ, and may also cause behavioral problems.
    Save the Children is assisting families with children and child care providers by making sure they have access to healthy food and early childhood development support programs.
    Flint Water Response Team is the go-to place for all information and resources regarding government and charitable assistance for Flint residents. The website informs residents of how they can apply for credit towards their water bill, how to receive emergency resources, and also how to contact the governor's office for additional assistance. It also provides information on other charities helping in Flint and how someone may volunteer.
    Flint Water Fund has a dedicated driver who distributes waters throughout Flint everyday. So far, the fund has donated more than 11,000 filter systems. However, the organization is still accepting donations to help purchase water filters and bottled water since the need is still there. 100 percent of donations will go towards this endeavor.
    Since residents also can't use the city's tap water to cook food, Catholic Charities of Genesee County serves nearly 1,000 meals every day at its three soup kitchens. It uses filtered and bottled water to prepare the meals. Therefore, the organization is accepting donations of bottled water and filters to help prepare the food and also to distribute to citizens.
    Michigan State University published a report on how families can limit the effects of lead exposure in children through nutrition. The report also lists various government agencies that provide food assistance in Genesee County.
    The American Red Cross has volunteers distributing water testing kits, water filters and bottled water at several locations.
    Team Impact Your World will continue to follow this story and update it with any additional ways you can help.