Relief & Rebuilding for the Junkers

I’d like to tell you a heartbreaking story, and yet it is a story that is filled with strength and hope.  

My grandparents, Wilbur and Sylvia Junker, have touched the lives of so many people over the years. They have spent their lives serving, encouraging and ministering. Not only have they touched the lives of countless people, but they have personally touched you and me. Now it is our turn to give back to them for giving to us, and show them how much they are loved and appreciated.  

This summer they packed up all of the earthly belongings they had accumulated over their 65 years of marriage, and they moved to a retirement community in Florida. It was a community where they could enjoy the fellowship of lifelong friends who had also retired there, and they loved it! They were involved in the church, community activities and volunteer opportunities. And then...Hurricane Irma.

On September 13, my grandparents left their apartment in Florida with the threat of approaching Hurricane Irma. They quickly headed north with nothing but an overnight bag thinking that they would return after 3 days when the hurricane passed. My aunt Linda had just arrived to visit them and was able to drive them to Ohio. They were thankful that God had provided a way for them to physically escape the wrath of the storm.

However, as a result of Hurricane Irma, rising creek waters contaminated with sewage, flooded the retirement village. Their apartment has been deemed by FEMA as contaminated level 3 with infectious conditions. Now after over 2 weeks without electricity in 90 degree heat, the flooded contaminated water has saturated everything they own. Covered in mold, nothing is salvageable. Without insurance, it is impossible to replace a lifetime of belongings...all they have are the memories.

My grandparents have not lost everything, because they have each other and they have their faith. And their faith is strong. It reminds us all that, "When you have everything but God, you have nothing.  When you have nothing but God, you have everything!"

Will you help me show how much they are loved by joining me in this Go Fund Me effort? All gifts will help them rebuild a life here in Ohio near family. You know as well as I do that they are givers. It will no doubt be hard for them to receive from others as they would much prefer being on the giving end, but everyone needs love. So let’s show my grandparents how much we love them and even surpass my goal! Thank you for your prayers for peace, encouragement and hope, and thank you for showing your love!

*gofundme requests that I inform you...I will be making a withdraw on my grandparents behalf and personally giving them the funds to purchase furniture and items needed for their new home. THANK you for your continued support and helping us get closer to the goal! 

Michelle Smith

  • Anonymous 
    • $650 (Offline)
    • 48 mos
  • Mark and Chris Poland 
    • $40 (Offline)
    • 49 mos
  • George and Bev Dancho 
    • $30 (Offline)
    • 49 mos
  • Bill and Barb Raftery 
    • $30 (Offline)
    • 49 mos
  • Rebecca Orr 
    • $50 
    • 50 mos
See all


Michelle McIlrath Smith 
Canal Winchester, OH
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