Dynamic is a force that stimulates change or progress within a system. This word best describes the Flint Area Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, an international organization of professional women dedicated to service and creating opportunities for their communities. When the Flint water crisis reached its peak in 2016, and over 10,000 children ages 0-6 were impacted by poisoned water, The Links took action.
"As women connected to a community in midst of the crisis, we knew a solution was needed," said Linda Morris Belford, member of the Flint Area Chapter. "We brainstormed a solution in late 2015, and decided to establish the Flint Kids Matter Fund through the Community Foundation. The water crisis was clearly a monumental disaster of unknown long-term impact. We wanted a way to establish a credible vehicle for ongoing support to those locally and nationally. Our donor advised fund was thus established to that end."
Initial contributions to the Fund were made through friends and family members of the local chapter as far away as Jamaica, as well as from individual members of The Links, Incorporated from across the country. In addition, nine Michigan chapters provided support through a special event fundraiser held at Motor City Casino in Detroit. Members enjoyed an evening of dining and entertainment by several internationally renowned performers and raised over $120,000 for the Flint Kids Matter Fund.
"The Fund supports public health, medical, and community based services and interventions that address and mitigate the short term and long term impacts of the water crisis," said Belford. "We will use our voices and resources to advocate for the children of Flint. We look forward to supporting programs and services that benefit children who were exposed to lead in their drinking water."