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CMU students fight for a stronger Flint

More than 100 volunteers support community cleanup efforts

Contact: Heather Smith

​More than 100 Central Michigan University student volunteers recently piled into school buses and made a weekend effort to improve Flint.

As part of their "Fighting for a Stronger Flint" service trip April 29, the students split into teams and assisted in blight cleanup, turned graffiti into art, and volunteered with local food pantries and the Salvation Army. 

This marked the second year that Annalisa Lodes, a senior from Climax, Michigan, and Crystal Pendergrass, a junior from Lake City, Michigan, co-led the student-initiated Flint Active Crisis Team and Service campaign. Lodes said she firmly believes in the saying "The power of one" when it comes to making a difference.

"It all boils down to there being a need, and this kind of outreach is needed in the Flint community," she said.


Volunteer projects included brush cleanup and sidewalk edging at Potter Longway Park, cleanup at CBC Recycling, and garden prep and cleanup at Asbury United Methodist Church. Groups also painted murals on plywood to hang in windows of abandoned homes to help boost property values.

"This was an extremely great learning opportunity for students and for the residents of Flint to know that we still care and that we're still fighting for them," Pendergrass said.

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