Who Are We
From inception, we have resolved to do nothing but serve the community to meet apparent needs, nothing more, nothing less.
All we are and all we ever will be, are servants.
We serve the young people in the school districts as best we can, based on the resources made available to us. We do our best to come alongside the teachers and community leaders to fill in the gaps, support them when needed.
We go into the sidestreets of the great City of Dallas, to better understand how we can help resolve the needs thousands of impoverished people face on a daily basis and where we fit in the fight against hunger/homelessness. We find where people are, learn what people need, and seek out ways we can help meet that need.
Now, we have found another need.
Sand Branch Texas
Sand Branch is 14 miles southeast of Downtown Dallas, on Beltline Road just two miles south of US Hwy 175. It is situated between the Trinity River and Hickory Creek. Sand Branch is the only unincorporated settlement left in Dallas County. It is the forgotten plot of land that nobody cares to bother with anymore. Sand Branch is the community that politicians, religious leaders, and in many ways, more accommodated neighbors close their eyes to, hoping the desolation of their abandonment disappears.
In meetings organized by County Commissioner John Wiley Price, he goes on record as saying, “Their water is dirty, unhealthy, and smells bad. They have no power downtown. Kids drown in those gravel pits. The wells and septic tanks are inadequate. The hogs draw flies and contribute to disease. We have to bring these people into the 20th century.”
The people of the community feel like it’s all talk now though. They have had people come along and get all ‘fired up about helping them, learning, and implementing the best possible solutions, only to walk away feeling helpless and defeated. We may not be able to dig the pipelines into the community, but we have a willing truck company and a few good men that will haul some water in, hopefully on a bi-weekly basis.
This solitary and deprived community has long been considered one of the poorest areas in Dallas County. This community was formed for freed slave families to live on after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, 1863. The word of slaves being freed would not reach and affect Texas until 2 1/2 years later on June 19th, 1865(Juneteenth). This community thrived on well-water for the longest until 1985.
Up until about a month ago, we had never heard of Sand Branch Texas. In finding out that this small city exists, we were humbled and heartbroken to find out that the inhabitants have been surviving as best they could with no running water or sewage. It has never had running water or a sewage system and has no local government, fire service, or streetlights. The city residents began getting sick in 1980 after drinking the well-water and suspected the wells were contaminated, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Dallas County of Health and Human Services tested and confirmed the wells tainted with E. Coli, many believing it to be caused by the hogpens in the area.
With no pipes and faucets to bring running water into the community, the residents rely totally on donated bottled water from nonprofits, friends, neighbors, and whoever else will show some compassion to their condition.
How Does It Feel to Live Without Running Water?
Mr. Mark McPhearson, an environmental attorney says, “It’s really impossible if you don’t spend time down there regularly to understand how inconvenienced they are to not have water and sewer that we all take for granted”. We live day to day and never consider that something as convenient as running water is just “what we are entitled to”. This could not be further from the truth. Mr. McPhearson is taking on the Sand Branch clean water situation as his first-ever pro bono case.
Many of us leave the water running for long periods of time before we get into the shower, or while we brush our teeth. The water we run without thinking while brushing our teeth is enough for someone without running water to clean themselves up to prepare for work.
Not only are we inconsiderate in the amounts we waste, but there are not many times when we think of ways we can contribute to someone else’s critical condition. Can you imagine how unsanitary much of their area must be if no water is there to keeps things washed off properly? Hand sanitizer can only go so far, but you can go a step further.
This community relies on outsiders.
We are the ones they can depend on.
We will stand in the gap and do our best to provide nourishment in the form of water to the people of Sand Branch Texas. The Mount Zion Baptist Church serves as the central community center where water is distributed as it is made available.
Many people draw a similarity to the Flint Michigan water crisis; however, talk has never fed anyone or quenched their thirst. What satisfaction will come from learning who is to blame or where other similar problems are if we fail to do what we can do, right here in our own backyard.
We will be advocating for the residents of Sand Branch, and we hope and pray you can see the significance of this moment. Help where you can.
Here Are Some Ways to Help
- We take donations of packs of water and you can call (469)389-0047 for a donation drop off location
- You can volunteer your home or church to be a water donation drop off location and we coordinate the pickup times
- You can write your councilman to demand some attention be given to rectifying this repulsive condition. It is 2021
- You should share this blog and subscribe to the M25:35 updates to stay informed
- You can donate using zelle([email protected]), cash app($2535matthew), or paypal
What do you do when you see someone in need? We remind ourselves of the name, the logo, and the calling…