Farmington Hills volunteers takes donations to Midland

Farmington Hills native Gillian Pylar grew up volunteering, at the Servant Church of St. Alexander in Farmington Hills and other local charities.

When she watched the May 20 reports of devastating floods in Midland, Michigan, she felt a strong desire to help. So on Friday, she and a friend will take a second load of cleaning supplies, paper goods, nonperishable foods, and other donations to the community.

Gillian Pylar and Maggie McGuffie
From left, Maggie McGuffie and Gillian Pylar delivered donations to Midland. (Contributed)

The items will go to the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry, which supports eight homeless shelters and the American Red Cross, the Humane Society, and Open Door Shelter.

“I thought, I gotta do something about this,” said Pylar, 20, a Farmington Central High graduate and Schoolcraft College student. “I called a friend who is a hair stylist and has been out of work, and within 24 hours, we had a car full of donations.”

Maggie McGuffie
Maggie McGuffie shops for items that will be taken to Midland. (Contributed)

Many of those donations came from people already affected by COVID-19, like the staff at Studio for Hair in Farmington Hills, closed since March.

“They got a ton of donations,” Pylar said. “They’re really struggling right now, and to see them go out of their way was spectacular.”

Midland flooding
Midland Michigan experienced severe flooding after dam failures. (Contributed)

Just Girls Boutique in Bloomfield Hills served as a collection point, and Responsible College Advocates in Southfield also assisted. Pylar turned to NextDoor, an online neighborhood website, for community donations.

“From the time I said, ‘I want to get this done’, in 24 hours we filled this nine-foot cargo van, and we were on the road,” she said. “I can’t believe how generous people were. Everyone’s struggling.”

While the Midland area is devastated, Pylar said, she saw people “supporting each other and trying to figure out how to get through this.”

Pylar collected items over the past week for a second supply run. There’s still time to donate to her effort through Friday at gofundme.com/f/midland-relief or any time to unitedwaymidland.org/resources/flood-resources/.