Elon Musk Helps Fix Flint Water Crisis

Back in July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he would help fix the water quality issues in Flint, Michigan.

“Please consider this a commitment that I will fund fixing the water in any house in Flint that has water contamination above FDA levels. No kidding,” he tweeted, in response to a follower saying it couldn’t be done.

A few days later, the office of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver confirmed that he had, in fact, reached out. On October 4, the Flint Community Schools district confirmed that the Musk Foundation would be giving every school in the city new water stations with building-wide filtration to ensure that Flint’s 4,500 students will have access to clean water.

“Thank you… for investing in the health/future well-being [of] FCS Students! Your generous donation will help us replace ALL water fountains w/ NEW WATER STATIONS & WATER FILTRATION at ALL SCHOOLS! Looking forward to our burgeoning partnership! More to come!” the school district tweeted.

Musk responded, “You’re most welcome. Hope to do more to help in the future.”

The Musk Foundation, which is based in California, is heavily focused on advocacy, STEM education, and pediatric research. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk and his brother, the foundation has donated on average $800,000 per year in grants and disbursements to various causes. The plumbing renovations in Flint are estimated to cost nearly $500,000, which is why it was impossible for the bankrupt city to manage without aid.

Earlier this year, nearby Detroit shut off all drinking water to the city’s 106 schools, serving 50,000 students. Flint may be the flagship for water quality control, but the problem is much, much larger. Hopefully, Musk’s example will lead to more community involvement in solving this matter.


Allstate Donates Books to Schools Hit by Hurricane Harvey

Before Hurricane Harvey, it had been 12 years since a major hurricane made landfall in the United States, the last of which being Katrina and Wilma in 2005. Within a four-day span, Hurricane Harvey pounded eastern Texas with as much as 40 inches of rain, which caused major flooding before it dissipated on September 2, 2017. Thousands of homes and businesses and dozens of schools were destroyed by the elements.

Nearly a year later, some of those schools are being rebuilt. In the Houston Independent School District (HISD), which is the largest school district in Texas, four elementary schools were hit the hardest: Braeburn, Hilliard, Mitchell, and Scarborough. They lost everything, including their entire library collections.

The Allstate Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the insurance giant by the same name, announced commitments immediately after Harvey to help Houston rebuild its schools. On July 3, 2018, the foundation donated $400,000 to help replenish those school libraries, as part of their “Rebuilding Our Readers” campaign.

Friday, July 6, Allstate leaders will bring the donation in-person to the new building of Scarborough Elementary School, which was relocated.

“We’re committed to helping Texas communities recover from this disaster, which is why we’re honored to be a part of this effort to replenish Houston ISD libraries with new books to replace those lost during Harvey,” said Larry Sedillo during a tour of the school. Sedillo is the Field Senior Vice President of Allstate in Texas.

Since the hurricane, companies across the nation have donated over $72 million to relief efforts for Houston and other areas in need of restoration. Estimates for the total economic losses amount to between $81 and $125 billion, the higher of which puts Harvey on par with Katrina. In response to the outstanding nature of the damage, the name Harvey has been retired from the list of names for rotating storms.

Donation News

AT&T to Donate $20 Million to Schools

Mobile phone giant AT&T has announced that it intends to donate $20 million to support different education initiatives through the AT&T Aspire Program. The grant will support schools in 26 states around the country with the intent of providing mobile learning opportunities, mentoring, and career skills.

The grant will support students in a number of ways. “As students head back to school, we want to make sure we’re doing our part to help them succeed,” says Nicole Anderson, AT&T’s Executive Director of Philanthropy. “We’re collaborating with organizations that help students of all ages access mobile learning, mentors and the skills they need to hit the ground running beginning this fall and well into their futures.”

Some of the grant will go to Curriki, Get Schooled, and Black Girls CODE, an organization whose mission is to increase the number of girls and women of color in the STEM fields, as well as many others.

This donation isn’t the first time AT&T has supported schools, and not even in recent news. Yesterday, the company donated three hundred backpacks filled with supplies for the coming school year to the Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District in Monitor Township, Michigan. The donation came from volunteer AT&T employees. This marks the 15th year of the Michigan Pioneers donation program. They plan to donate another 300 backpacks tomorrow to students in Saginaw County.

In August, AT&T gave a $30,000 grant to the Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center to help mentor at-risk students. The company created the Aspire Mentoring Program to achieve their goal of providing 1 million hours of student mentoring by the end of next year. Also in 2015, AT&T has donated over $5 million to various United Way organizations across the nation.

Already this year AT&T has made plenty of donations to schools and other betterment programs. Because of their efforts, more children and students have access to the mentorship, supplies, and support they need to succeed.