Rain water damages tens of thousands of dollars in school supplies for children in need

CLINTON TWP., Mich. (WXYZ) - Some children may not have what they need to do their homework this upcoming school year after heavy rains damage the offices of a local non-profit.

"This drain is what was unfortunately plugged and the water went right in under the door," said Menachem Kniespeck. 

They walked into the office of Operation: Kid Equip: Michigan Friends of Education in Clinton Township to find one to two inches of standing water. 

"The minute I walked through the door and the minute I put my foot on the floor it just went, squish!" said Kniespeck.  He started the non-profit several years ago to provide school supplies to kids in need.  

On Wednesday, volunteers spent the day ripping up carpet and throwing out water soaked things like papers and books. The landlord also helped get the water out of the building and dry out the office.

 "Sometimes if something gets wet it can get moldy.  And we don't' want to pass out anything to the kids that could potentially make them sick," said Kniespeck.

Tens of thousands of dollars in donated school supplies ruined.  The biggest problem is that their insurance covers everything but donated items.

"I was just devastated," said Deana Pankotai.  Pankotai is a middle school teacher in Mt. Clemens.  She knows it could mean less school supplies for kids who truly need them this year.

"I think we have a 93-percent poverty rate in our district right now.  The parents can't afford it," said Pankotai.

Every school year the non-profit helps close to 100,000 children in southeastern Michigan. 

"Kids don't even want to admit they don't have what they need to do the school work.  They'll just pretend they don't want to when really they don't have what they need," she said.

Now the non-profit needs more help than ever to continue helping children in need.

If you are interested in donating you can find information on the website of Operation: Kid Equip here: http://operationkidequip.org/

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