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United Way Home in a Box program helps Midland County families restock after floods

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 7:03 PM EST
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MIDLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Hundreds of Midland County flood victims are still working to recover nine months after the Edenville and Sanford dams failed along the Tittabawassee River, sweeping away homes and everything in them.

The United Way Home in a Box program is providing 50 families with essential items to restock their homes.

“Flood survivors are just now being able to have a place to put these items,” said United Way Disaster Volunteer Manager Bre Sklar. “If you would have asked them three or six months ago, they would have just been scrambling to put their homes together.”

The rebuilding process continues for families in Midland County and the Home in a Box kits will help them make their houses a home again.

“Anything you can imagine would furnish a brand new home. You’re looking at mattresses, couches, dinette sets, even something as simple as a spatula. Just things that make it easier for the flood survivor,” Sklar said.

The project has been used by long-term disaster recovery teams across the nation. Organizers say it is a vital step in returning to normalcy for those impacted by disasters.

“I think from a psychological standpoint, this is the most important thing, the first glimmer of hope that normalcy is coming,” said Kevin Peach, CEO of the Disaster Service Corp. of the Society of St. Vincent DePaul. “The Home in a Box program provides that first step. And so when you think about all the things these flood victims have to go through -- FEMA assistance, help from all over the place -- the last thing they should have to think about should be, are my kids going to sleep on a comfortable mattress, will there be a place for us to have food or have a nice meal together.”

Families have already been chosen for the distribution of these Home in a Box kits, but the United Way of Midland County says the organization will continue to work with partners and provide more if needed.

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