Sean "Diddy" Combs and Mark Wahlberg, who co-own California-based beverage company AQUAhydrate, have decided to donate 1 million bottles of water to residents of Flint, Michigan, reports The Huffington Post. Rappers Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and Big Sean have also pledged support and donations, along with other celebrities, until the water crisis can be resolved.
AQUAhydrate will also be sending 5,000 cases of water to Flint, Michigan, which is expected to be delivered on January 27."The AQUAhydrate team is doing everything it can to help with this issue," said Sean Combs in a press release. "Mark and I made an initial pledge to donate and are committed to the continued aid to Flint residents as long as they need it. We hope this commitment will inspire others to get involved as well."
Rapper and Detroit native Big Sean also started a "Help Flint's Kids" campaign on CrowdRise, with over $20,000 in donations so far.What makes Wahlberg and Combs' AQUAhydrate a better option over regular H2O? The water is ultra-purified and run through a UV filter five times. The water also contains 72 electrolytes with a high pH (9+), which helps fight acidic waste and restore balance in the body. While many traditional sports drinks and vitamin-enhanced waters have sugar and/or calories, AQUAhydrate has neither. Mark Wahlberg began drinking the water back when he was training for David O. Russell's 2010 film The Fighter.
"The only thing I changed was the water I was drinking," Mark Wahlberg says. "I started to really feel the difference in my recovery time … I thought, 'Well, the only thing it could be is the water.'"
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Monday that he will be appointing a special counsel to finally begin investigation allegations of misconduct in the Flint water crisis. Many have criticized Governor Rick Snyder's administration and how they have been handling the water crisis. Tens of thousands of Flint residents are now without safe water to drink and there are allegations that Snyder's administration did nothing even after they had discovered that the water is unsafe to drink.
The mayor of Flint, Michigan, Dr. Karen Weaver, recently told ThinkProgress that while she agrees the lead contamination was caused by "failure at every level of government," which Snyder also belives. However, Weaver still feels that "the state is ultimately responsible."
"I'm waiting for the investigation to say who knew what and when," Karen said. "I'm going to let that play out, and when it does I think it won't have just the governor's name on it. There's enough blame to go all the way around. But we know the buck stops with the Governor."
High levels of lead were detected in Flint's water supply ever since officials switched from the Detroit municipal system and began getting their water from the Flint river, to save money.
Along with Mark Wahlberg and Sean Combs, Cher joined forces with Icelandic Glacial water to donate 181,000 bottles to the residents of Flint. Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, recently made an announcement that he would be donating $10,000 to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. Fallon turned to his fans and asked 10 of his followers to match his donation.Rock band Pearl Jam pledged $125,000 to the United Way of Genesee County, which includes the city of Flint.
The Flint water crisis has also brought on protesters taking to the streets during the last few weeks to voice their frustration and anger at the situation. A rally was recently held outside Flint City Hall, arranged by Genesee County Volunteer Militia. Protestors are still speaking against the alleged corruption seen in the local government, demanding accountability for how the water became unsafe to drink.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for AQUAhydrate]