Months after devastating flooding in Midland, Michigan, help is still needed. A team of Whirlpool volunteers answered the call and helped flood survivors reclaim some sense of normal – yes, even during a pandemic.
It’s not often someone has the opportunity to return to their hometown and immediately improve the lives of thousands of people, but that’s exactly what happened this year for one Whirlpool leader… twice.
Our employees are the engine behind this effort. They volunteered countless hours to secure the product, move the product, stage it, sell it, coordinate the delivery, and at the same time keep people safe during the pandemic. These volunteers are my heroes.
Global Product Organization Vice President Pam Klyn was raised near Midland, Michigan. Soon after college, she joined Whirlpool Corporation and traveled the world carrying out increased responsibilities in marketing and product development. Today, she’s living in St. Joseph, Michigan serving as the global leader of Whirlpool Corporation’s laundry platform, overseeing the development of the products the company was founded on more than a century ago.
In mid-May of this year, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Midland, Michigan, and the surrounding areas saw two nearby dams break, flooding the area and damaging or completely destroying more than 2,500 homes, businesses, and nonprofit facilities. Residents are still rebuilding what they lost.
Even where residents didn’t lose their homes, many experienced significant basement flooding effectively destroying many belongings, including their washers and dryers.
In early August and again in October, Klyn and her team of Whirlpool-employee United Way volunteers organized weekend appliance sales for the flood survivors of Midland. Whirlpool donated the appliances to the effort, enabling these products to be sold to those in need at deep discount. Whirlpool required all proceeds would go to benefit the United Way. The most recent sale raised more than $350-thousand dollars.
“Our employees are the engine behind this effort. They volunteered countless hours to secure the product, move the product, stage it, sell it, coordinate the delivery, and at the same time keep people safe during the pandemic. These volunteers are my heroes,” said Klyn. “Special thanks to our employee team, the United Way teams of Midland and Southwest Michigan for going above and beyond, and everyone else who contributed to helping people rebuild their lives.”