Andre Dirrell has taken matters into his own hands with a grassroots effort to raise funds in toward the purchase of clean water for those affected by the poisoned water crisis in his hometown of Flint. President Obama, last month, declared a national state of emergency in Flint, Michigan, whose water supply was contaminated with toxic levels of lead when its source was changed from Lake Huron to the Flint River. To date, over 102,000 people have been poisoned and the number continues to climb (source: Huffington Post).
The super middleweight has already donated thousands of dollars of his own money toward the purchase of clean water for Flint residents and is imploring his fellow fighters and everyone in the boxing community to do what they can to help.
“As an athlete, I have a great appreciation for the importance of water in someone’s life,” said Dirrell. “You can’t train without water, but the people of Flint need it for much more than drinking. They need to bath, cook and stay alive. This is a tragedy and I feel as though I’m in a position to not only do what I can to help these people, but encourage my fellow fighters and the whole boxing community to do what they can.
“On a personal note, I have over 30 family members living in Flint can possibly be poisoned, including six or seven of my nieces and nephews who range from the ages of 2-13. It hurts knowing that there are serious long-term effects, especially on young kids. If those were my kids, I would want something to be done. Let’s help save my city.”
Donate here to support Dirrell’s fundraising effort to purchase clean water for the residents of Flint.
Detroit Brawl Fighters Also Helping Out
As the Flint water crisis continues, the promoter and boxers of the upcoming professional boxing series “Detroit Brawl” have joined the fight by donating 7,200 bottles of water to be handed out at Art Van Furniture on Tuesday.
“Many boxers come from humbled beginnings and understand the struggle. As the Detroit Brawl gains attention, it is very important to use this platform to show how important it is to give back,” says event promoter Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions.
Taking a break from their intensive training for Saturday’s matches and recognizing the daily need for bottled water in homes, neighborhoods, warming centers and soup kitchens throughout the city of Flint, Michigan-based boxers Ed Williams (10-1-1, 4 KOs), James Gordon Smith (8-0, 5 KOs), and James Ballard (5-0, 2 KOs), as well as trainers Javan “Sugar” Hill (Kronk Gym) and Theotrice Chambers will be distributing 300 cases of water.
Art Van Furniture is located at 4095 E. Court Street in Burton.