Plumbing Group Donates Faucets, Other Supplies to Flint Residents

Members of Plumbing Manufacturers International donated hundreds of plumbing supplies to residents in Flint, Michigan, as the city is dealing with a water crisis.

In the midst of a water crisis in Flint, Michigan, members of Plumbing Manufacturers International recently donated faucets, water filters, and other plumbing supplies to help ensure residents had access to safe drinking water.

“The breach in Flint really demonstrates exactly how important plumbing is and how much people take the safety of plumbing for granted,” said Barbara Higgens, CEO and executive director of PMI, which represents the manufacturers of plumbing products. The crisis in Flint was also an opportunity for PMI to live out its vision of safe, responsible plumbing always.

“Flint gave us an opportunity to practice what we preach,” Higgens said.

The water crisis, which began in 2104 after the city switched its water supply from Detroit to the Flint River, came to a head last fall when it was confirmed that the city’s water tested for high levels of lead, and a state of emergency was declared. The ordeal has prompted responses from several associations, including the American Water Works Association and the NAACP.

But for PMI and its members, with help from the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, the crisis provided an opportunity to give back, live out its vision, and stay relevant—something Higgens advises other associations to consider when deciding on issues and causes where they may be able to lend a hand.

“Today, I think it’s really important to be relevant from a business standpoint,” Higgens said. “Whatever advice I might offer would be to just stay tuned to current events, and where there’s an opportunity to engage in current events, I think it’s a win-win.”

The donation generated a significant amount of publicity for PMI in major news outlets, but Higgens said the bigger issue is that they were able to help people and act upon the organization’s vision. “We put our words into actions, and to me that was the best benefit of all,” she said.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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