Volunteers broke Flint water story

It was VOLUNTEERS – unpaid people donating their time and expertise – that conducted the long-distance, independent sampling of Flint’s water and releasing findings that forced the government, the media, and the world to pay attention. That’s what unpaid “citizen scientists” are: volunteers. These 25 volunteers—four undergrads, 11 graduate students, seven post-docs and three faculty members—united “to help resolve scientific uncertainties associated with drinking water issues being reported in the City of Flint, Michigan.”

Local groups like WaterYouFightingFor and the Michigan ACLU (among others) also mobilized volunteers, helping local Flint citizens – as volunteers – to collect water samples.

THIS is the value of volunteers – not money saved, not paid staff replaced, but rather, a job done BETTER because it was done by unpaid people. Would the Independent Sector or UN Volunteers or the Corporation for National Service try to put a dollar value on this volunteer time donated in order to show the value of this volunteering?!

There is a GoFundMe page up for this volunteer team of scientists and students operating out of Virginia Tech, to help them cover the costs, paid out of their own pockets, for this work. The group goes by the name FlintWaterStudy and formed in August 2015.

More via The Nonprofit Quarterly.

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