The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC), the state's lead agency on volunteerism, is looking for volunteers to help Southeast Michigan residents clean up damaged homes after the Aug. 11 torrential rain and flooding.
Volunteers can sign up by going to semichiganflood.givegab.com or calling 2-1-1.
The MCSC has collected information from thousands of Michiganders across Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties who have requested volunteer assistance to remove damp belongings, eliminate odors, and remove moldy drywall and paneling.
The commission is working with several volunteer organizations to help numerous families -- including the elderly and people with functional needs -- but there has been a shortage of local volunteers to provide assistance.
“While the flood didn’t last long, it left behind houses damaged by sewage and dirty water; in some cases the water was two feet deep or more in basements,” said Ginna Holmes, executive director of the MCSC. “This damage can’t typically be seen on the outside, but many residents cannot currently live in their homes due to the mold, smell and unsanitary conditions. We are asking for any and all volunteers to give a few hours of time to get our neighbors back in their homes quickly and safely.”
Prospective volunteers can also visit a Volunteer Reception Center to sign up to help from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31, at Starr Presbyterian Church, 1717 W. 13 Mile Road, in Royal Oak. Volunteers are asked to come prepared to be immediately sent to a work site and have closed-toe shoes, work clothes and work gloves.
Residents still needing volunteer cleanup assistance are asked to call 2-1-1 to be connected with volunteers or fill out an assistance form at www.michigan.gov/miflood. A Recovery Coordination Center has been established by the MCSC in partnership with local emergency managers and the State of Michigan to organize all of the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster groups that have responded to the disaster and match them with the residents needing assistance and the volunteers who have signed up to help.