They drove 19 hours to make gumbo for Michigan flood victims
After 17 surgeries from a bone-crushing fall, Dwayne Richard vowed that if he could get out of a wheelchair, he would repay his gratitude with acts of kindness to the world. That's how he ended up in Sanford, Michigan.
His wife, Tabitha, read news of the two dams failing north of Midland last week, destroyed homes and tattered lives in her Facebook feed, and decided the family of four would head north from their home just north of Lafayette, Louisiana.
She contacted the Michigan governor's office and the United Way of Midland County.
The response was immediate, Dwayne Richard said: "We were surprised."
So the handyman and his family drove 19 hours north on Memorial Day, with a U-Haul and truck full of clothes and cleaning supplies. They had leftover donations after collecting to help five families left homeless by a 150-mph tornado at home.
"When we seen the devastation up here, we thought that would be the best place to bring it. So we packed up and headed on over," said Dwayne Richard, 43, recalling his path through Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio.
The family packed onions, bell pepper, seasoning, chicken and sausage — all the fixins for homemade gumbo — on ice and hit the road.
Dwayne Richard, 43, of Richard, Louisiana, left, stirs up 15 gallons worth of his gumbo as his wife Tabitha looks on at right Tuesday, May 25, 2020 outside of Red Oak Restaurant in Sanford. They drove to Michigan to come help the relief efforts after floodwaters devastated communities like Midland and Sanford following the failure of two dams that flooded homes along the Tittabawassee River.
MANDI WRIGHT, DETROIT FREE PRESS
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