Santa Claus has seemingly been making multiple early stops in the Magic City lately and he made another visit Thursday afternoon.
Hope Village, in their "$50K in 30 Days" fundraiser, presented a check for $63,012.60 to the Unmet Needs Committee and to the Recovery Warehouse. The fundraiser has raised a total of $165,028 for flood recovery. Paul Krueger, pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church and director for Hope Village, said 45 percent of the total went to the Unmet Needs Committee, another 45 percent went to the Recovery Warehouse, and 10 percent went to Hope Village.
The presentation took place at Souris Valley United Way, headquartered at 15-2nd Ave. S.W., Suite 102, on the ground floor of the Wells Fargo building. Souris Valley United Way handles all of the bookwork and funds for the flood recovery organizations.
Representatives from the organizations that have been helping in flood recovery pose for a photo during a check presentation that took place Thursday afternoon. From left are Pat Smith, executive director for Souris Valley United Way and chairperson for the Unmet Needs Committee; Connie Philipenko, director of Souris Valley Long Term Recovery Committee; Paul Krueger, pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church and director of Hope Village; and Rhonda Thompson, Ward County Coordinator for Lutheran Disaster Response, representing the Recovery Warehouse.
The Unmet Needs Committee and the Recovery Warehouse each received $63,012.60 from the "50K in 30 Days" fundraiser.
Krueger said Hope Village worked with a major donor who put forth the dollar for dollar challenge. The funds given to Recovery Warehouse will be used for building supplies for families, he noted, and funds given to the Unmet Needs Committee will go to families for needed supplies in order for them to return to their homes. "Our hope is to supply about $4,500 apiece for families to get supplies so they can get back into their homes."
A year and a half after the 2011 flood, it's still important to remember the disaster and the people affected. There are people who are still in FEMA trailers and who have to pay rent soon, Krueger said. "They're still looking to start normalcy and that makes a big difference for families," he added. "There are still families sorting through what to do with their homes and people can still sign up with the Resource Agencies Flood Team." The RAFT organization provides long-term case management to applicants and assists people with programs they may qualify for. Applications can be found at (www.minotnd.org) or by visiting their offices at Lutheran Social Services or United Methodist Church.
"Our rebuilding effort through Hope Village continues through the winter," Krueger said.