CBS KIDK News 3 | Rick Montañez |
They lived in Idaho Falls for a year, and this evening the Crawford family is back home in Louisiana. Two years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. The displaced family was brought to Idaho Falls by Melaleuca President Frank Vandersloot. Newswatch 3's Rick Montañez caught up with both families today.
The Crawfords and the Vandersloots met at a make shift shelter in New Orleans 2 years ago, and Frank Vandersloot knew this was a family that he needed to take in.
"Hardship is hard, but facing hardship seems to be unifying," said Frank VanderSloot.
And for a year after Hurricane Katrina, the Vandersloots and Crawfords became one family.
"It turned out to be the most wonderful blessing for our family, they became part of our family," added Vandersloot.
In 2005, Vandersloot was in New Orleans giving help to people displaced by Katrina. In a church that became a shelter after the storm, Crawford and Vandersloot crossed paths.
"You didn't have no clue, no idea, you just know that you couldn't go back to New Orleans," Terrance Crawford told Newswatch 3 over the phone.
So Vandersloot told the Crawfords to come to Idaho Falls.
"You wanna come home with us to Idaho?
Rick: What'd they say to that?
Vandersloot: He said Idaho, where's Idaho?"
So Crawford took some time to think about it.
"I called Mr. Frank back and asked do the offer still stand and he said sure."
After living in Idaho Falls and becoming part of the community, the Crawfords knew it was time to go home.
"Its good to be back, after 2 years some areas seem like it made a change, some areas seem like ain't no body touched 'em."
Crawford also tells me he did all the rebuilding on his home, and his family should be able to move out of their FEMA trailer and back into their house next week.
For the fourth year in a row, Forbes has listed Melaleuca as one of the top employers in America.
It was the “journey of a lifetime” for eight military veterans who traveled to the nation’s capital last week on an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of Melaleuca.
On Sept. 14, 2023, Major General Michael J. Garshak presented the Patriot Award to Melaleuca Director of Product Management James Andersen during a ceremony held at the Idaho National Guard.