“Heroes and Hand Raisers” is a series created by United Way of Midland County in partnership with Midland Daily News. Each week, snapshots of volunteerism and human generosity — via quotes, photos, snippets and stories — will shine a spotlight on those who are impacting our community by raising their hand to help meet the needs of their neighbors.
Spotlight on Dolores Porte: Sanford village president
Q: In what ways have you and/or your team donated time, talents or resources?
A: Organizing the multiple types of debris pick-up, seeking and obtaining funding and volunteers to rebuild Sanford, working with donors on how/where to donate, working with residents and businesses to help find resources, applying for the Hazard Mitigation grant to assist residents in the flood zone so they have options such as buying their property/home with available grant money, coordinating and helping to apply for federal money to re-open Saginaw Road/Bridge, working with FEMA to help repair municipal property like the Village Park, working with Sanford Youth League to restore the ball fields, helping to distribute items to businesses and homeowners like drywall and insulation, helping residents find resources to help with rebuild efforts, coordinating construction equipment, road closures, etc. such as the upcoming dam clean up, getting the message to outside of the community through news media and Facebook about what’s happening in the Village of Sanford, being visible to the community to provide people with someone to direct their concerns, participating in the grief support group, etc.
Q: What inspired you to step up in this way?
A: I love the Village of Sanford and the people. It’s a warm, interesting, fun, inviting community. It feels like a family, and the recovery and rebuild efforts are about putting our family’s lives and livelihood back together. I grew up in neighboring Coleman and small towns are about camaraderie, sticking together and making things happen.
Q Why is it important for you and/or your organization to raise your hands in our community?
A: Because the Village of Sanford is the support mechanism for our community. Many individuals still giving their time and talent to put things back together. We are all in this together. Together, we are resilient and will rebuild the community we love. Seeing all the hands raised together has been phenomenal.
Q: What is your hope for Midland County?
A: For the dams to be rebuilt at low or no cost to residents/businesses (i.e., find alternate funding to reduce the potential assessment) as quickly as possible, for businesses to reopen ASAP so they can return to making a living and residents to be able to move back into their homes or alternative locations ASAP. For the community to return to its overall liveliness and to repair the despair that has been caused by this financial and emotional hardship.