SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls non-profit is in cleanup mode after pipes burst the day after Christmas.
The disaster sent nearly 40 women and children to stay with other organizations while recovery presses on at the Union Gospel Mission.
Burst pipes in the sprinkler system are to blame for major damage and loss.
The water traveled from top to bottom in the building that houses the non-profit’s women’s center, thrift store, and distribution center.
“It goes from the third floor, second floor, first floor, basement,” UGM CEO Eric Weber said.
The water damaged a laundry list of items.
“Losing beds and blankets and clothing, all the weird stuff that you don’t even think about. Carpets and kids’ toys and all those things we lost, and it’s gray water. It’s not clean water. It’s been sitting in pipes and now it’s going over everything,” Weber said.
Fans are humming in the thrift store as store director Dolly Iron Moccasin clears damaged clothing from the racks.
“It’s upsetting because there’s a lot of hard work that goes into putting together the thrift store and getting things organized so when you see all your work and it’s basically down the drain and you have to start over it’s a little upsetting, but you know you can redo it,” Thrift store manager Dolly Iron Moccasin said.
Fortunately, the clothing can be baled and recycled, which is an income source for the Union Gospel Mission.
As staff and volunteers continue cleanup work, CEO Eric Weber is keeping this all in perspective.
“A lot of people are like, ‘Are you stressed out?’ I get a lot of phone calls from the community, ‘Are you okay?’ I’m like, ‘Man I am so good.’ This is just another bump in the road, and it could’ve been worse. It could’ve been a fire. It could’ve been…who knows, right?” Weber said.
He’s remains hopeful as the organization heads into the new year.
There are several ways you can help the Union Gospel Mission right now.
You can donate money or you make an appointment to drop off needed items such as:
- New twin bedding
- Winter coats
- Desktop computers
- Towels & washcloths
- Office chairs
- File cabinets
- CD player/radio
- Mini fridges
- Large lockable cabinet
- New 3-ring binders
- TV stand
- Bedside tables
- Extension cords
The Union Gospel Mission also needs volunteers.