Sorority takes initiative to help residents of Flint, Michigan

KJ Hall

The Delta Sigma Theta sorority has taken the initiative to help fellow Americans and fellow sisters affected by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

After a decision not to purchase water from Detroit any more to save money, the city of Flint began to experience water problems. The river water they chose to use was corrosive, causing lead from the city’s pipes to leak into its water, according to

Reports of smelly, discolored, undrinkable water began coming in. As many as 8,000 children were exposed to toxic water that will probably have a lifelong effect on their brains and nervous systems. Flint residents must drink and prepare their food with bottled water because even after the city’s tap water has been filtered, it can’t be guaranteed safe.

With reports of Flint’s water problem gaining national attention within the last month, there has been much support for the city’s people.

A simple bottle of water has become an absolute necessity, and the WKU chapter of Delta Sigma Theta has answered the call to help.

“When we received information from our national [chapter] president, we decided that as an organization called to serve, we must do something locally to help those in need in Michigan,” said Kinya Embry, a Winchester senior and the president of Delta Sigma Theta. “As Delta women, we answered that call and hoped that the other Greek organizations on campus would support our efforts as leaders at WKU.”

The sorority reached out to all the presidents of the Interfraternity Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations on campus, explaining the crisis in Flint and how it impacted them as an organization. They asked the presidents to share the information with their chapter members and to donate cases of water bottles to send to Flint.

The initiative was well received, and most of the chapters awarded service hours for donating cases of water. Chi Omega sorority alone collected 50 cases of water.

“It’s amazing to know that even though Michigan isn’t necessarily close to Kentucky, we were still able to help them during this crisis,” Miranda Holcomb, the Chi Os’ president, said. “Not only that, but the fact that the whole Greek community at WKU was able to come together and raise both awareness and cases of water to contribute to relief efforts.”

Embry said the situation in Flint is both sad and scary. Explaining that people often don’t realize how vital something as simple as water is, she said it can be taken for granted.

She said despite not living in Flint, people in other areas still need to help those who are being affected by a large-scale problem.

“If Bowling Green was suffering from a water crisis, we too would hope that individuals from across the world would help us in our time of need,” she said. “I think it’s important that we do the same even though we may not be directly affected.”

The water dropoff was slated to be on Feb. 14 but was cancelled because of the snow. It will be rescheduled for late this week, when cases will be counted and made ready to send to Flint.