Pistons owner pledges $10 million to Flint
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores has pledged $10 million to help Flint.
The Platinum Equity CEO announced Thursday he is launching a fundraising campaign to raise money for the city's various needs as it deals with the water contamination crisis.
“The private sector needs to play role here, and I am committed to helping drive that effort. I grew up in Flint, my family has strong roots there, and I believe in the people who live there,” Gores said in a press release.
It's unclear yet how the fundraising efforts will be organized, and may work with existing organizations. Platinum Equity said some of Gores' personal money will go toward the $10 million goal.
Gores is a Flint area native, his parents moved the family to Genesee County from Israel when he was a child, according to a spokesman. Gores is pictured standing outside the store his parents owned when they first moved to the US.
Now living in California, Gores said in the release that Flint's woes have become a national issue.
"Flint was once a cornerstone of American industry that gave a lot to this country," he wrote. "We need help now more than ever and ask that people from coast to coast continue stepping up."
The release notes that fundraising efforts will include short-term relief, such as supplying safe drinking water, but also establishing funds for child health and longer-term economic and small-business development.
Gores joins other big-names who have pledged assistance or donated to Flint. Last week, Cher announced she was donating 181,000 water bottles to the city, and told Michigan Radio she is "outraged" with Michigan's political leadership.
“These children will not be able to achieve the life other children will be able to,” Cher told Michigan Radio. “With that, you can’t just stand by.”
Other artists donating include Detroit rapper Big Sean, who donated $10,000 from his personal charity, Rolling Stone reported.
Major companies have also joined the effort. Icelandic Glacier Water Company matched Cher's donation, and Walmart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle agreed to donate over 6 million bottles of water to the people of Flint.
Plenty of other, smaller organizations pledged either water or money to the city.
How to help
HelpForFlint.com has aggregated websites and opportunities for coordinated donations and volunteer opportunities in the Flint area. Flint residents can also use the website to search for water resource and filter sites.
For all those looking to volunteer and assist in Flint's response efforts, the HelpForFlint.com website provides a online sign-up to the Flint Water Response Team.
Additionally, HelpForFlint.com provides the information necessary for donating to the American Red Cross efforts in the Flint water crisis.