Community Clothing Room in Madison rising from the floodwaters

Local News

MADISON, S.D. (KELO) — Many people and communities felt the damaging effects of 2019’s flooding. Now, one of those spots hit hard, the Community Clothing Room at St. John Lutheran Church in Madison, is about to mark a revitalization.

Following flooding in September, this outreach housed in the basement of St. John Lutheran Church had to close. But come Monday, it’ll be back open for members of the community in need.

This is what it the Community Clothing Room looked like in the wake of floodwaters in September.

“We had four feet of water in the basement here,” senior pastor Elizabeth Pagnotta said.

Associate pastor Shelly Gehring describes the effort needed to bring this back to life.

“It goes all the way back to tearing off sheet rock and cleaning and disinfecting and sanitizing … making sure that the space is safe, and then waiting for contractors,” Gehring said.

On Sunday, there will be an open house. Then Monday, people who find themselves in need can come and pick up some clothing or other items that they need in their life.

“It’s really exciting. It’s really, really exciting,” Gehring said. “We, four months ago, thinking about when this date would be, we had people asking us, over and over and over, ‘When will you be reopening the Clothing Room?’ And we couldn’t even say.”

“It’s really important that people are able to give and have a way to give, and this is a way for people to give, but this is also a place where people who are in need know that this is a safe place and a place that we care about them, and they can come and just take what they need for free,” Pagnotta said.

All the items available are fresh and clean. The items when the flood hit had to be thrown away due to contamination from water and sewage as well as oil.

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