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Today was day two of our journey to Flint. Today my activities consisted of installing/delivering the rain barrels we constructed yesterday as well as helping reconstruct a garden. While I enjoyed both, delivering was my favorite because I really got to see what it was like in the neighborhoods and get to talk to more residents.
Donna, the first woman we installed barrels for, was really fascinating to talk to. The spirit and hope among residents of the city are so high and so strong. They really just want to help one another. Donna spends her free time tutoring children and helping them out by taking them cool places, taking them bike riding, etc. She also assists the elderly including a woman who is 102 years old.
Not only were the people once again intriguing, the houses in the neighborhood were as well. There were fairly nice homes next to half burnt or boarded up houses with smashed windows and trash everywhere. There would be one house and next to it 3 or 4 empty lots where houses that were abandoned and torn down. Which was interesting and also kind of sad to see. To see schools completely boarded up and run down looking broke my heart. The garden restoration was a great afternoon of manual labor and I think we all made the garden look better than how it looked this morning.
All in all Flint was an incredible experience where my peers and I got to experience first hand, a community that has been portrayed as a sad, hopeless community in such crisis and need of help. And while they do need help, the community is far from hopeless and while it is has more than its fair share of problems that’s not how most residents view it.
I have really enjoyed my last two days in Flint. It is something I’ll never be able to forget and I definitely wouldn’t want to. All of our hard work through the past year has lead to this trip and it was well worth it. #55forFlint
– Domonique Stockon