BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
Let’s do it, I want to go, and Let’s collect water
were the responses Crystal Harris-Darnell, executive director of the YMCA’s, Youth Opportunity Program, YOP, received from a group of high school students after informing them about the details of Flint, Michigan’s led infested water crisis.
From the time the group decided they wanted to help the citizens of Flint, to the day they departed from their location, 7 E. Bancroft, on Friday, February 5, they were able to collect over 150 cases of water, as well as, hygiene supplies, such as baby wipes.
Montrice Terry, career coach at YOP said that, they would deliver the items to Flint’s downtown YMCA, take a brief tour of the city, have a meal, and then return to Toledo. Mr. Terry explained that, the entire trip would be an opportunity for the youth to actualize the organizations core values such, community outreach.
“A lot of times we take for granted having clean, and safe drinking, and bathing water,” Ms. Darnell told The Toledo Journal. “This community service effort will show the teens of YOP how they are being a part of the solution,” she said.
Isaiah Newton, 16 said the reason he wanted to help the people of Flint was, “If we were in that situation, like we were a couple of years ago, we would want as much help as possible.”
Joseph Fields, 18, was excited about going to Flint. “I’ve never had the opportunity to help out on such a large scale. So, as soon, as I heard about their situation, I knew I was going to help. I want to help out in any crisis.”
YOP is a program that focuses on helping students between 14 and 19 graduate from high school. In addition to focusing on academics, the program has a strong community outreach program at its core.