When we first arrived in Flint my initial response was how big the city was. I had imagined a small town with a small population so I was really surprised to see that there were more people. When we first started building the rain barrels I didn’t really understand the importance or need for them, I just thought it was a good way to keep us busy and help create something that was wanted by the people of Flint. After lunch we actually met some of the people. My job was to take the money for the barrels and water hose filters. When everyone started arriving I soon realized it wasn’t a want but more of a need. Months leading up to the trip and basically our whole way here we had been informed of the horrific tragedy that had occurred and what harmful effects the excessive lead would cause. Of course, like everyone else, I was deeply saddened and enraged that something like this would even happen but it wasn’t until I met the people buying the barrels and filters that I could actually put faces to Flint and see the people who will be forever impacted by what has happened. Seeing all of those people gave me a whole new perspective of what’s going on in Flint and how people are handling it and it’s amazing to see how many people are so full of joy and so charismatic and willing to do anything they can to help the situation. Despite what they had been going through for the past two years they are still able to put a smile on their face.
- Samantha Soto