Southwest Iowa Families Logo

(Clarinda) -- A local non-profit is seeking donations to help flood victims with back-to-school expenses.

Southwest Iowa Families -- based in Clarinda -- is seeking individuals and businesses to sponsor a child with a $100 donation to help families affected by devastating flooding. Sandy Geer is administrative director for Southwest Iowa Families. She says approximately 300 children have been displaced or affected by flooding this year and back-to-school shopping could be difficult.

"We all remember what it takes to get kids ready for school," said Geer. "Their jeans from last year don't fit; the shoes don't fit; they need shirts, underwear, gym shorts and sports gear. It's not an easy time for any family, but for those affected by the flood, it will be a struggle this year."

Jeri Nielson is a volunteer helping with the project. She says donations are being accepted through July 25th and will be distributed to families prior to a big shopping weekend in the area.

"We hope to be able to distribute the funds before the annual Iowa and Missouri statewide tax-free weekends, so they can get the most bang for their buck," said Nielson. "All donations -- regardless of the amount -- will be greatly appreciated. If you can give less than $100, we will put other donations together until we get $100. We would like to give each child $100."

For families who have been affected by flooding, Geer says the application process to receive funds is simple.

"There is a one-page application for the families to pick up," said Geer. "The schools have those applications in the superintendent's office. There is also one on our webpage -- southwestiowafamilies.org. The mental health team from Waubonsie Mental Health's community center has a FEMA project. Those people from that team will be taking applications to the families they have been working with. You can also just call office or stop by."

Donations can be mailed to Southwest Iowa Families with a notation for the Flood Victims Back to School Project. The address is 215 East Washington Street, Clarinda, Iowa, 51632. Anyone with questions can call Southwest Iowa Families at (712) 542-3501.