Dayton-area residents impacted by the 15 Memorial Day tornadoes can get free building materials thanks to a Cleveland-based company with Gem City ties.
“We have many employees from the Dayton area, and we felt this was a great opportunity to step in and address a critical need,” Sarah Nash, the CEO of Novagard, said in a statement. “Novagard is in a position to help with the recovery and repair of scores of homes. We also appreciate the partnership with Habitat for Humanity, which is coordinating the use of our products directly with contractors.”
The company founded in 1977 shipped two semi truckloads of caulks, sealants and weather stripping valued at $200,000 to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton, an organization that builds affordable housing.
The donation included 30,000 tubes of caulk.
Michael “MK” Kister, Novagard’s marketing and product management vice president, said the company was happy to help.
“We were obviously moved by what was happening in the Dayton area,” said Kister, a Wayne High School graduate. “This is the worst disaster since the Xenia tornado.”
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Kister was raised in Huber Heights. His parents, Patricia and Helmut Kister, reside in Oakwood.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton Executive Director Norman J. Miozzi said the product donation will be put to good use.
“It is available to any and all people (impacted by the tornadoes),” he said. “We are also making it available to all of the organizations that are in the Montgomery County Long Term Recovery group.”
Aside from Habitat, that group assembled by county officials includes The Dayton Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul, the United Way of Greater Dayton and St. Mary’s Development Corporation and several other agencies.
The items are available at Habitat’s ReStore located at 115 W. Riverview Ave. in Dayton. The phone number is 937-222-2296.
Miozzi said donations like the one made by Novagard are critical because about half of those impacted by the tornadoes had no insurance or were under-insured.
“For them to rebuild, it is going to take a lot of community involvement and donations to make people whole again,” he said.
Miozzi said it is going to take years before the community can recover from the disaster that wiped out or damaged more than 2,200 structures in Montgomery County alone, according to a report the county recently released.
“I am just impressed with how the community has come together to serve the people who are involved,” Miozzi said.
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton typically builds about a dozen homes a year. Miozzi hopes to double that amount this year.
“Capacity is going to determine that,” he said.
The nonprofit employs about 20 and is hiring for three positions, including a construction site leader.