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This weekend, at the “Community Fun Day” event in Flint, MI, the Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF) will be presenting our donation to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint’s (CFGF) “Flint Child Health & Development Fund”. The fund was created to provide ongoing financial support for the children and families affected by the 2014-2016 Flint Water Crisis. For more information on “Community Fun Day”, visit: http://seanandersonfoundation.org/2016/05/17/flints-community-fun-day-for-families/

In January, in partnership with CrowdRise (CrowdRise.com), the SAF launched our #HealFlintsKids campaign, to raise money for the CFGF’s fund; moreover, throughout the fund drive, we received an abundant amount of support from individuals and organization’s all over the world.

As we prepare to make our donation to the CFGF’s fund, we wanted to take time to highlight a small handful of young people who spearheaded efforts to make a difference in Flint, either through the #HealFlintsKids campaign or another support network in place for residents.

Today – we spotlight Rachel Aiello of the Motor City Mentors!

Check out our conversation transcript with Rachel:

The Sean Anderson Foundation applauds your decision to help the residents of Flint, MI. Can you tell us a little bit about your organization and how you’re involved? 
 
Rachel Aiello - Motor City Mentors is an organization that I started to support the youth in Metro-Detroit. The journey began last year, a little after my grandma passed. This was a tough time for me, but it really made me realize that life is too short and I still haven’t left my mark. It’s all about giving back! MCM’s main goal/vision is to build champions and children to be confident, kind and giving. I would like to assist children in finding themselves and what they want to do in life. 
Why did you/your team decide to make a difference in Flint?
RA - Seeing everything that was and still going on in Flint really hit home because Flint is only 45-minutes from our hometown. That could have been us, and if it was, we would have wanted the help. Supporting our neighbors is important and citizens tend to forget that.
 
What have you done so far in Flint, to give back?
RA- So far MCM has teamed up with BuzzFeed, to spread awareness of the issue world wide. With over 700,000 views, I have received emails from children and adults worldwide that were interested in helping the cause. I decided to start a gofundme campaign, for the people around the world that wanted to help but didn’t know how. We raised $1,200 that was immediately turned into over 200 cases of water. You can check it out at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HPm5A3xyLfY . Motor City Mentors did a local water drive, back in February, and collected over 300 cases of water! More recently MCM teamed up with another organization (Fighting Colors) to throw a charity basketball game for Flint. The event was hosted by Hot 107.5′s Foolish, we also had special local guests RoSpit, Jackpot the Juice, TattooManPaige, HAHA Davis, and Ezthail attend. The event was a complete success with over 600 cases of water collected.
 
Why is giving back important to you?
RA - Giving back in general is important to me because I know personally if I was going through something I would want the support, generosity and help to get me back on my feet. I am a caring person who cares about the well being of family, friends, and neighbors. I just want a more positive world with less negative news stories, so with MCM mentoring the youth, I pray things get better in the United States. To give back to your community shouldn’t be a question; you should just do it!
Throughout our #HealFlintsKids campaign, the SAF has witnessed incredible acts of kindness! Why is it important that we continue to be of support to the children affected by the lead poisoning crisis in Flint and elsewhere?
RA- We should continue to help Flint and other places affected by the contaminated water because the damage from the high levels of lead will be a lifetime concern for many children and adults. It’s not something that can be fixed overnight because 1,000′s of bodies have already been poisoned by the water. Can you imagine not being able to take a shower, cook, or brush your teeth with the water from your faucet? Lead can cause multiple health problems, and my heart aches to know that it all could have been prevented.
Thank you, Rachel, for giving back to the children and families in Flint, MI!

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