In an effort to restore many flood-damaged homes in central Michigan, the Melaleuca Foundation recently donated thousands of EcoSense products to help families recover from devastating flooding.
On May 19, more than 10,000 residents were forced to quickly evacuate their homes after heavy rains, rapidly rising waters from the Tittabawassee River, and breaches in three dams flooded parts of Midland, Saginaw and Gladwin Counties under as much as nine feet of water.
After Michigan’s governor declared a state of emergency, National Guard soldiers and local emergency responders worked around the clock to evacuate homes and ensure the safety of thousands of families. Many of these people were forced into shelters due to life-threatening flash flooding.
The news media reported this spring rainstorm transformed into a 500-year flood event, meaning it is only likely to occur once every 500 years.
Melaleuca Hurries to Help
Immediately after the flooding, Executive Director IV Lauretta Kloha contacted the Melaleuca Foundation to ask if the company would support her hometown. She didn’t have to wait long for the answer.
After reaching out to local political and community leaders, they determined that one of the most pressing needs was cleaning products for evacuees to use in restoring their homes to pre-flood conditions. Many of the local retail stores were closed, and there simply was not enough supplies in the stores and shelters to handle this kind of emergency.
Within hours, a plan was set in motion with the Melaleuca Foundation air shipping boxes and boxes of Sol-U-Mel disinfectant and MelaPower laundry detergent to the area.
Kloha called upon a few team members and organized 15 volunteers who gladly spent a Saturday distributing the donations to several community organizations throughout the region. A few of them stayed and helped by handing out products at the local shelters to all families who entered.
Going the extra mile, several of these volunteers also put the donated products in backpacks and boxes, walking into the hardest-hit areas to ensure the donation went to the families who truly needed it.
Kloha recalls her pedometer was over 15,000 steps that day, but she was grateful to play a role in helping so many families during this natural disaster.
“It’s incredible to see how quickly and thoroughly the Melaleuca Foundation responded to this flood,” Kloha said. “It was an honor to partner with the Melaleuca Foundation in this charitable activity and show this community the love, generosity and compassion that we all have for it. Thanks to Melaleuca’s support, many families will have an easier time getting their lives back to normal.”
After the Floods
As might be expected, Kloha isn’t done serving the community. She is a great example of what it means to live the Melaleuca mission statement by enhancing lives. A few days ago, she worked with her team to organize another donation drive for families in need. There are more people to help.
As Central Michigan continues along the long road of recovery from the floods, many residents are just grateful that everyone is safe. They know that things will be restored over time.
And in true Midwest fashion, neighbors are pulling together as they continue the process of restoring homes and rebuilding their communities.