Homes of Hope: Flood victim & volunteer gets new furnishings

Eight months ago after the Edenville and Sanford dams failed, one Mid-Michigan man lost everything. Since then he’s spent his time giving back to others and helping his community clean up. But now it’s his turn.

Eight months ago after the Edenville and Sanford dams failed, one Mid-Michigan man lost everything.

Since then he’s spent his time giving back to others and helping his community clean up.

But now it’s his turn.

Helen Roth met Larry Durek on the worst day of his life, the day after the spring floods destroyed his Midland home.

She and a group of volunteers were helping clean up, but Durek’s house was much worse.

“Normally volunteering is a good feeling,” Roth said. “You leave that feeling like you made a difference and although it, there was that, knowing that he really needed us, but how do you feel good when you throw everything someone owns away, strip their house to the studs and not know where they’re gonna go, what they’re gonna do.”

In fact, TV5 spoke to Durek back in June when he was having problems figuring out how to pay for repairs.

READ MORE: Cleanup efforts underway following Midland floods, resident says insurance companies won’t help

If only he knew what would happen six months later.

“I’m kinda speechless, to be honest with ya,” Durek said. “I never knew there was so many people with that big of hearts that just wanna go out of their way and help somebody whom they don’t really know.”

Without telling Durek, Roth entered him in Big Sandy Superstore’s “Home of Hope for the Holidays” campaign and he won.

He got enough furniture this week to fill his house again, washer, dryer, sofa, you name it.

“Compared to May, I don’t feel like I did in May,” Durek said. “This is just amazing. That people would go out of their way such as these folks have done to help me.”

David and Lisa Lee own the Mt. Pleasant Big Sandy and surprised Durek with the truck full of goods.

“We’re blessed and fortunate and we know what it’s like to have a lot and we know what it’s like a little," Lisa said. "But to be a part and be used to bless others, pretty cool.”

It was Durek’s constant caring for others that stood out to the Lees.

“It’s people like that that make a difference,” Lisa said. “It’s a, they’re always concerned about others and helping others and it’s really neat to be able to give back to a person that never expected it.”

Even when he had pizza coupons for food, Durek made sure the volunteers last May were fed and taking breaks.

“I wanna say thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Durek said. “This is amazing.”

Durek is living in a rented house in Saginaw which is where the furniture will go until his Midland home is ready in the spring.

The furniture store, which does advertise with TV5, said it has been doing giveaways like this for years.

Their decision on who to help is based on nominations from others.

This year Big Sandy Superstore is giving away 25 homes full of furniture and appliances to families in need.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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