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Bishop J. Drew Sheard, First Lady Karen Clark Sheard collecting water for Flint residents

Bishop J. Drew and First Lady Karen Clark SheardArticle By Regina Jackson // EEW Magazine Reporter

A Christian couple, impacted by the suffering of their neighbors, are moved to action.

Share A Detroit pastor and first lady are lending a hand to their Flint neighbors during a time of crisis.

Bishop J. Drew Sheard and First Lady Karen Clark Sheard, heads of Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ, are collecting water this week for Michigan residents impacted by the water emergency.

“Bring your cases of bottled water…as we send water to Flint,” said Clark Sheard, who sent out the request on Facebook.

In a caption beneath a graphic image that reads, “Share a Bottle of Water,” the Grammy award-winning member of the legendary Clark Sisters said her pastor and husband “has challenged us to fill the fellowship hall with cases of water.”

Flint's toxic tap water issue stemmed from an April 2014 decision by the state to temporarily switch its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money.

After the switchover to the river which had a reputation for being disgusting, residents began complaining that their water looked, smelled and tasted funny.

Photo Credit: MLIVEFlint returned to using Detroit's water in October after tests found elevated levels of lead in the water and in the blood of some children. Lead contamination can cause brain damage and other health problems.

The crisis, which has risen to the level of federal emergency, has gotten the attention of millions of Americans, who are now pitching in to help.

“Let's do it!” wrote Clark Sheard, admonishing her social media followers and church members to donate water. Greater Emmanuel, located at 9190 Schaefer Hwy, is accepting drop-offs Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as Sunday.

Already, more than 27,000 cases of bottled water from various sources have reportedly been handed out to residents.

"Lead levels remain well above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion in many homes," the city said, according to a CNN report. "Residents are advised to continue using water filters while long-term solutions are being developed."

RELATED: Jesse Jackson said Flint residents "betrayed"


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