Where To Look For The Helpers

Flooded town

It’s comforting to remember Mr. Rogers’ now-famous quote in times of disaster.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,’” he said.

The devastating flooding due to multiple dam failures in central Michigan caused nearly 11,000 people to be evacuated. Since then, several organizations have come together to provide support to residents in the affected areas. Below is a list of places offering help during this difficult time. 

Shelters 

Shelters have been opened at the following locations:

  • Midland High School, located at 1301 Eastlawn Drive
  • Bullock Creek High School, located at 1420 S. Badour Road
  • Coleman Community High School, located at 4951 N. Lewis Road in Coleman, MI
  • The West and North Midland Family Centers, located at 4011 W. Isabella Road and 2601 E. Shearer Road, respectively
  • Swan Valley High School, located at 8380 Ohern Road in Saginaw, MI 
  • Freeland High School, located at 8250 Webster Road in Freeland, MI 
  • Hemlock High School, located at 733 N. Hemlock Road in Hemlock, MI 

American Red Cross

The Red Cross helped place more than 20 people in hotel rooms and more than 20 in three Red Cross shelters in the area.

In addition to opening shelters in the area, Red Cross teams are in the field surveying damaged homes and working with local emergency management to assess the impact of the flooding and additional needs in the affected communities.

Members of the public seeking service or volunteer opportunities are encouraged to contact 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or redcross.org.

211 Northeast Michigan

211 is a free, 24/7 hotline that can be reached by phone, email or text. The hotline connects people to resources and agencies they might need in a quick and confidential manner. The hotline has also created a "Midland County Disaster Resources" webpage, which outlines additional resources and information. 

Nexteer

Nexteer Automotive, which has a location in Saginaw, Michigan, is accepting a range of donations, including cleaning supplies, first aid kits, tools, food, water and personal hygiene items. They will coordinate distribution to those in need.

Community Mental Health for Central Michigan (CMHCM) 

CMHCM is offering a variety of services to the community via telephone and teletherapy options. If you feel you or someone you know would benefit from short-term therapy, contact the Access Department at 800-317-0708.

Saginaw Community Foundation

The Saginaw Community Foundation has set up an emergency relief fund supporting local efforts. The foundation connects donors with community members’ needs.

Midland-Area Community Foundation

This foundation has created the Flood Relief Project Fund. The fund will provide for disaster relief in Midland County. The fund was established with a $250,000 contribution from the foundation and an additional $250,000 in matching funds, the foundation announced in a Facebook post. The foundation will work in consultation with the Midland County Emergency Manager and a long-term flood recovery group to best administer these funds for greatest impact. 

United Way of Midland County

United Way has established several ways to help or receive help. The relief organization is looking for volunteers, as well as cash and supply donations.

By jonathanMM

Writer