Donated Christmas decorations bring joy to Jefferson County flood victims

FENTON, MO (KPLR) - Virginia Yandell is one of hundreds of homeowners who watched water ruin their homes during December downpours in 2015.  Her Fenton home has since been raised 8 feet, but is not yet up to code.  Yandell has been renting an apartment for the past 9 months.

“I just feel like I lost everything of course.  I don`t have any furniture. Everything because of mildew and mold was taken out,” said Yandell.

Yandell is not alone.  The heartache over last year’s flooding continues and in a matter of weeks those victims will mark what could be a traumatic anniversary.  More than 800 homes were damaged during the December 2015 flood.

Show Me Hope is a crisis counseling program funded through a grant.  The local leader is joining forces with the Jefferson County COAD to collect Christmas decorations for last year’s flood victims.

Patty Culverton is heading up the Show Me Hope effort and said one flood victim was brought to tears over news that Christmas decorations were being collected.

“She was the mom of a couple young kids and when they told her we were doing this, she started to cry,” said Culverton. “I think it’s really going to be a deep need for a lot of people.'

“At Christmas time you’re looking for that uplift in your spirit.  You just want someone to encourage you and give you hope and I think that this will do it,” said Jefferson County Community Coordinator Denise Kasten.

The items will be donated to Jefferson County Flood victims on December 10th.  Here is a list of drop-off locations for anyone wanting to donate new or very gently used Christmas decorations:

  • Eagle Bank – Arnold located at 3944 Vogel Rd. 
  • Eagle Bank – Festus located at 680 S. Mill Street
  • Eagle Bank – De Soto located at 121 Jefferson Square
  • Eagle Bank – Hillsboro located at 10596 Business 21.
  • First Baptist Church Festus/Crystal City
  • Faith Baptist Church, Festus
  • New Hope United Methodist Church, Arnold
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church, Imperial
  • Parkton Assembly of God, Barnhart
  • First Baptist Church Arnold – Family Life Center
  • Zion Lutheran Church, Hillsboro
  • Central Baptist, Central Ave in Eureka
  • St. Johns’ Arnold. 
  • Comtrea locations in Festus, Arnold, High Ridge Medical Plaza, High Ridge Counseling Center, Hillsboro-Hickory Plaza and House Springs. 
  • Walmart Festus location
  • Jefferson County Health Department Arnold
  • Jefferson County Health Department Hillsboro
  • Jefferson County Community Partnership (JCCP) Festus