STORY: Flooding in West Michigan

Comstock Park - Plainfield Twp 1


Water was everywhere in April 2013, when the Grand River overflowed its banks and surrounded homes, parks, and roads. Two Red Cross volunteers from the Detroit area learned of the disaster and immediately came to help.

John McGill and Evans Lucas drove an Emergency Response Vehicle through Grandville and stopped at several houses to see if people needed help. At one home, they found an elderly couple with water damage in the basement.

“They were worried about getting mold and mildew down there,” said Evans. “They said they called some carpet companies, but it would cost $300-$400 to get the carpet removed – something they couldn’t afford and they weren’t able to do it themselves.”

That’s when John stepped up and offered to rip the carpet up himself. John went to the basement after the couple said it was ok, and he pulled up all of the carpet. He then rolled it up, carried it up the stairs, and took it outside. The couple was so surprised at this Red Cross volunteer’s generosity, they could only cry.

Before leaving, Evans and John both got big hugs and a prayer from the couple.

But their day didn’t end there. The volunteers continued down the streets of Grandville offering help. One woman opened her garage door as John and Evans were walking up the driveway. She was startled to see two men approaching her house, but when she realized it was the Red Cross, she just started to cry.

“We’re with the Red Cross,” Evans said. “Do you need any help?”

The tears continued as the woman replied, “Thank you for asking.”

Another man found the Red Cross volunteers standing on his front porch and was amazed to see that the Red Cross came right to his house.

“We knock on their doors and people don’t expect that,” said John.

To learn more about the Red Cross and how to support its mission, visit


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