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Here's how to help St. Louis nonprofits after record rainfall destroys its items, offices

The Little Bit Foundation helps 14,000 kids in 42 schools by removing barriers for students to learn.

ST. LOUIS — People all over the area are trying to give a helping hand to flood victims.

Unfortunately, some nonprofits that work with the area's most vulnerable are going to need that support.

Credit: KSDK

Stepping into the storage room Wednesday morning, CEO Miranda Walker Jones sees shoes sitting in sogginess.

"There's at least a thousand pairs of shoes in here," Jones says as she looks around the room. 

The damp donations are thrown all around at the Little Bit Foundation, mirroring the broken hearts scattered through out.

Record-breaking rainfall destroyed the Brentwood office and warehouse, which sits in a flood-prone area. 

The office and warehouse was just finished getting renovated this past month.

"Last week, we were just talking about how great and organized everything looked. There were probably four feet of water standing in the actual office and the water was over our desks. There was so much force, it even turned over the refrigerator," she shares. 

The waters inundated the 30,000-foot square warehouse space, which houses thousands of school supplies, backpacks, books, and uniforms.

The organization helps 14,000 kids in 42 schools by removing barriers for students to learn.

It plans to expand to six more schools this year.

"We are heartbroken because we know we have a month before school starts," Jones adds. 

Insurance calls it a total loss with about $1 million in damage and lost inventory.

"Everyone is heartbroken, but they are ready to roll up their sleeves and do the work," she says. 

The work has also begun at the office of Welcome Neighbor STL in Tower Grove, which was flooded, too.

Jessica Bueler is the executive director for the organization and she shares, "We help immigrant and refugees start their new life here in St. Louis."

It's currently helping 250 Afghan refugees.

Wednesday afternoon, volunteers cleaned up the mess left behind trying to salvage whatever they can to help families.

"So, the items destroyed a lot were items directly going to refugees such as clothing and shoes," Bueler shares. 

Also, needing support is the Peter & Paul Community Services shelter in Soulard.

It had to close Tuesday and Wednesday, moving 60 men into the temporary shelter while they are deep cleaning.

As far as donations, the shelter could use socks and t-shirts men’s sizes, mainly large and extra large.

Some of those items had to get pitched because they had been left under bunks.

Anyone interested in donating those items or delivering meals can contact Deb Cottin at 314-221-6197 or at her email: dcottin@ppcsinc.org.

Monetary support will be needed for Little Bit Foundation for now and volunteers along with donations for Welcome Neighbor. 

For now, it's the overflow of support, that's motivating these organizational leaders to work even harder.

"We know especially post-pandemic the economics, gas prices are high along with supply chain issues, it is more critical than ever to help and we know that," Walker Jones adds.

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