Many celebrities have vowed to donate water bottles and other necessities to the people of Flint, Michigan, but one rapper’s contribution has gone above and beyond.
The Game stepped up the competition by donating $500,000 of his own money to Flint residents, The Daily Beast reports. The rapper proudly posted a screenshot of the transfer of funds to artesian alkaline water company Avita Water, which will match his donation in water bottles.
In total, a cool $1 million in aid will be donated.
Game’s latest move is one of many community efforts on behalf of his non-profit organization, The Robin Hood Project. Just last year, he teamed with actress La La Anthony to donate $1,000 for 30 days ahead of the release of his latest album, The Documentary 2.
His Flint input is the largest celebrity donation to date.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Game explained why he donated such a large amount and why he wants his fellow celebrities to step up their efforts:
“It’s obviously a very big deal and a tragedy in Flint, and I saw people donating small amounts, and I just thought I’d go above and beyond that,” says The Game. “So I donated the funds from the first 11 shows of my European tour. Avita matched it and they’ll be one million bottles of water given out—33,000 bottles of water at a time because of trucking and shipping it in and out. It’s not easy shipping it out because of the snowstorms, and trucks being backed up. But we’ll get it there, however long it takes.”
He also said he was surprised to see small amounts from mega celebrities like Madonna.
“I called ‘em out and then I didn’t call ‘em out,” he says. “The only reason I mentioned Madonna and Fallon is I follow Madonna on Twitter and saw it on my feed, and I saw, ‘
Ten-thousand dollars.’ Madonna? Come on, man. She’s paid it forward her whole life though, adopting kids and donating money. But specifically to the water crisis in Flint, we can do better than $10,000. It takes about nine bottles per person per day to bathe and drink, so $10,000 contributes, but they could’ve done a lot more.”
The water crisis is very personal to the rapper (real name Jayceon Terrell Taylor); his sister and her family live in Flint. Other celebs who have given back in a big way include Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg. The two donated 1 million AQUAHydrate water bottles to the town this week. Big Sean and Meek Mill also provided notable contributions.
Currently, Gov. Rick Snyder has announced plans to expand Medicare to help aid children affected by the crisis. Lead was discovered in the city’s water as early as 2014, when the town switched over from the Detroit water supply to the Flint River. Residents are grateful for water bottle donations, but also stressed the need for new pipes in the town.
Sadly, it looks like those pipes will not be replaced anytime soon, NBC News reports. A spokesman for the governor said the priority at the moment is delivering water bottles and filters. He promises the next budget “will call for identifying pipes and service lines that need replacing.”
In the town of nearly 100,000, there are 15,000 to 20,000 service lines that contain lead. To replace every lead pipe will cost thousands for each homeowner. Harold Harrington, business manager of United Association Local 370, the plumbers union, tells NBC News he and his men are ready to replace the pipes, but haven’t received the call to do so.
Since news of the city’s crisis gained national attention, 176,118 cases of bottled water, 93,048 filters, 198,552 filter cartridges, and 29,320 water testing kits have been supplied from the state.