Mari Copeny, who also holds the title of Little Miss Flint, spent Earth Day delivering clean water after the government cut the free water program. She has been fighting to get clean water for her community since the Flint water crisis came to light in 2014. Michigan residents were told all lead pipes wouldn’t be replaced until 2020, but Governor Rick Snyder recently claimed the water quality was restored to acceptable standards and ended the free water bottle program.
“For over a year, we’ve been getting bottled water from water pods, and the state was paying for it,” Copeny explained. “The state said the water was just all better, and they just took ‘em away.”
But the 10-year-old says the water issue isn’t cleared up yet and raised $25,000 to buy water bottles. She’s also working with her community to rent parking lots to hand them out. She currently has a truckload of water bottles and plans to expand deliveries to include more residents who can’t go to the store.
In addition to organizing fundraisers, including a GoFundMe, and “Don’t Forget Flint” apparel, Mari started a letter program to send empowering messages to kids in Flint most affected by the crisis. She has received more than 3,000 letters back and hopes to start writing them again in the summer.