CHICAGO, Ill. (February 11, 2016) – Accompanied by a younger sibling, an Upper Iowa alumnus has displayed his true Peacock colors in recent weeks by aiding a number of individuals and families in Flint, Mich.
In a personal effort to deliver clean water to some of the residents suffering from the ongoing lead-contamination crisis, La’Mont R. Williams ’10 and his younger brother, Nate, have twice made the 275-mile drive from their Chicago homes to the Michigan city.
After formulating his initial plan in January, La’Mont explained he asked those closest to him if they were interested in contributing to his humanitarian effort before posting the idea on social media.
“While my friends and family donated money to help with fuel expenses and purchasing bottled water, my little brother chose to accompany me,” said the Chicago attorney. “Our reasons to go were quite simple. People need clean water to drink and we were in a position to help them. We believed anyone and everyone would do what we did if given the opportunity to act.”
The two brothers first traveled the four hours to Flint on Saturday, Jan. 23. With 20 cases of water in tow, they initially delivered the much needed supplies door-to-door. They later partnered over the weekend with a fire station and helped deliver approximately 100 cases of water to the elderly and local families.
“All the resident’s responses were positive. We were welcomed with open arms and greeted like heroes. It was a very humbling experience,” admitted La’Mont. “I want to especially thank Nate. He was outstanding and without his assistance our efforts wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.
“Both of us gained an appreciation for people putting aside their differences, whether it being ideologically, politically, or socially, in order to put the needs of our fellow neighbors ahead of any agenda,” he added. “While there were many groups there who may not typically agree on certain issues, it was nice seeing everyone work together to help those in need.”
In fact, La’Mont and his 20-year-old brother appreciated the experience so much that they returned to Flint this past weekend with 14 additional volunteers and canvassed the neighborhoods and housing projects not yet receiving fresh water donations.
“From our trips we are exploring forming a not-for-profit, along the lines of the charity work we have done,” said La’Mont, while stressing the City of Flint still needs volunteers to help residents who cannot walk or travel to the water distribution sites. “If you own a car or another source of transportation and can carry water, I urge you to come out and show the world what can be accomplished when we treat our fellow man humanely.”
After returning from his January mission trip to Flint, he shared a similar message with students of The Ogden International School of Chicago. He encouraged the local youth to become involved in projects in their own communities and thus inspiring another generation of Good Samaritans.
La’Mont Williams earned a criminology degree, with double minors in political science and history at UIU. He is currently employed with Daley and Georges, Ltd. in Chicago.