As the Flint water crisis continues to impact the lives of residents of the Michigan city, actor and rapper Jaden Smith partnered with First Trinity Missionary Baptist Church to bring clean water to those in need.
The Associated Press reports the 20-year-old's foundation, JUST goods company, teamed with the church to design and launch "The Water Box," a mobile water filtration system that cleanses water of harmful substances.
Since 2014, Flint residents have battled state and local governments over their right to have clean, drinkable water.
Contaminated and corrosive water pipes containing lead and rust has led to Legionnaires' disease outbreaks and the deaths of residents.
Households routinely relied on bottled water to do everyday tasks such as cook and clean. While residents suffer, well over a dozen state and local officials are embroiled in ongoing investigations. About 15 people have yet to be convicted.
First Trinity Missionary Baptist and Smith's foundation reportedly worked a year to make the filtration system a reality. It creates a 5-gallon container with clean water in about 30 seconds, MLive reports.
Spokesperson Catrina Tillman told the local outlet how it works. According to her, the filtration system can be affixed to a hose and used instantly.
“Essentially you could hook it up to the hose on the side of your house and it will filtrate that water,” said Tillman. “This water box will help us further our reach in regard to servicing residents with clean water.”
Jaden’s famous father has taken note of his accomplishments. On Tuesday, Will Smith posted a heartwarming video on his Instagram to congratulate his 20-year-old son.
“Jaden… I could not be more Proud of You!! You saw a Human Problem and responded. The design & build of The Water Box is a Beautiful display of Loving Kindness. Keep Going! I Admire You,” Will’s caption read.
“Water is life. And when people are denied access to clean water, that’s like the ultimate sin,” Jaden says in the minute-long clip.
Jaden hopes to take the box to other communities also suffering from access to clean water, igniting a movement to provide those impoverished areas with access to this box.
“I think it’s the most powerful thing I’ve ever been a part of in my entire life,” Jaden proclaimed.
The church spearheaded a water bottle initiative that began in 2016, working with another Flint-based organization, Black Millennials of Flint, to distribute clean water to residents.
Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon, residents line up to receive distributed water. Throughout the years, the church distributed 5 million bottles, but due to dwindling donations, there needed to be a change.
“We’ve been servicing our community on a weekly basis for the past three years, come rain, snow or sunshine we are giving out water,” Tillman told MLive. "In the beginning, we were doing five days a week but then we had to go down to three days a week because our donations have dwindled down.”
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