Amid another historically terrible weekend, Bruno Mars is here with a badly-needed gesture of kindness, announcing during his Saturday night show in suburban Michigan that he’d be donating $1 million to the Flint water crisis.
According to Billboard, Mars was closing out his set at the Palace of Auburn Hills with the song “Just The Way You Are” when he pledged to donate proceeds from the sold-out concert to The Community Foundation of Greater Flint, in order to help ease its ongoing water crisis.
In a statement, Mars said,
“I’m very thankful to the Michigan audience for joining me in supporting this cause. Ongoing challenges remain years later for Flint residents, and it’s important that we don’t forget our brothers and sisters affected by this disaster. As people, especially as Americans, we need to stand together to make sure something like this never happens in any community ever again.”
Flint’s water catastrophe began in 2014, when the city switched from Detroit’s water system to the improperly treated Flint River, which tested positive for E. Coli and high levels of lead. President Barack Obama declared a federal state of emergency in the city, but it wasn’t enough: An estimated 100,000 residents were exposed to tainted water, which was linked to an increase in Legionnaire’s disease and other health issues. As of this spring, EPA officials still encourage Flint residents to drink filtered or bottled water.
The Community Foundation’s President and CEO Isaiah M. Oliver released a statement expressing his appreciation of Mars’ announcement:
“With a grateful heart, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint is honored to accept this inspiring donation. We know Bruno Mars’ $1 million gift will be transformative to the children and families of Flint. He understands the issues faced by Flint citizens, and we are touched by his concern and generosity.”
Mars is currently on the North American leg of his 24k Magic World Tour, which will stretch all the way until next summer.