Giving spirit shows up during Midland flood

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MIDLAND COUNTY (WJRT) (5/20/2020) - "Thank you Midland, you did a great job," Jerry Wasserman said.

The longtime resident and former Midland school board member was emotional talking about the outpouring of support.

"We've had many more people show up to give stuff, than we've had show up that needs a bed. There's the difference. The Midland difference," he said.

Midland High School is home to one of several makeshift emergency shelters that Midland County set up overnight.

Throughout the day Wednesday, a steady stream of cars brought countless donations. Inside, nearly 150 people are taking shelter. They have nowhere else to go.

“I have at least 60 people, 60 volunteers, just showed up,” Wasserman said. “Three nurses, three aides from nursing homes, a bunch of students, a bunch of teachers, just people in town, just showing up and saying put me to work.”

That’s the same thing he said to the Midland Public Schools Superintendent. Wasserman is working the day shift at the shelter to give the Superintendent a break.

He knows this disaster does not lessen the threat of the quickly spreading coronavirus pandemic. And with a number of residents from a local senior center there, he's put multiple rules in place.

No one can enter the emergency shelter without a mask on. And, the beds are spaced out 6-feet apart.

“I've got a crew of five volunteers going around constantly wiping down bed railings, doorknobs, tables, any common touch areas down there. And then, after lunch I’ll have people run around and we're gonna have people use hand sanitizers on their hands,” he explained.

And because of that, he said if they need anything it's more hand sanitizer. Wasserman said he understands everyone is in need of it right now; but he said, if you have some to spare, he's asking you to share.

For all other donations, the County is asking anyone who wants to make a donation, to call United Way or 2-1-1. Representatives will tell you where your donation is most needed.