“The math here is this: people need water, give it to them.”

(Michael Hood, one of the founders of Crossing Water, after hearing that the state government is fighting a court order to provide water to Flint residents.)

Since 2013, Crossing Water, founded by social workers Michael Hood and Laurie Carpenter, along with a legion of volunteers from around the state and beyond, has been working with other nonprofit agencies to make sure all Flint residents have access to safe drinking water, information on how to access and use resources available to them and access to medical care.

At deadline, an interview with Michael Hood was canceled due to illness. Both he and Carpenter contracted pneumonia—both continued to serve Flint—but the infection forced them to take time to recover. They are both resilient and by the time you read this are most likely back to their mission of helping people.

The following words are from their Facebook page:

We are a connecting station, matching services and solutions to those who need them. We are about bettering the human condition in all its glorious diversity. It’s all about ideas, direction, empowerment and offering concrete solutions to vexing problems and challenges in a fast paced and complex environment. Sometimes problems are about the things you don’t see every bit as much as those things you can.

At Crossing Water, we help individuals, groups and communities navigate those unchartered waters and facilitate getting you to the other shore safely and securely.

• Directing disaster relief to vulnerable communities

• Building collaborative multi-sector partnerships

• Designing critical public health education campaigns

• Mobilizing RRST—Rapid Response Service Teams (Editor’s note: their model has received national recognition)

• Crisis response at ground, agency and policy levels.

Before making any difficult crossing on unknown waters, it helps to know the measure of your canoe as well as yourself. If your canoe is old and rotten you’ll need to put ashore and make repairs.

In the immortal words of Delbert McClintock, “Tear out bad wood, put in good wood.” And life is as simple and as challenging as that.

Crossing Water needs donations to continue its selfless work. Check out their Facebook page to find out how to donate.

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