The Spectrum

United Day Nursery
Flood of 1997

Chapter Four

You Give Us HOPE!

Children's paintings in hallway

United Day Nursery Director Suzie Thorson writes...

I started attending meetings - I've never been to so many meetings. Church meetings, United Way meetings, city and state meetings and FEMA meetings plus our own meetings. All very worthwhile.

I attended every Church Council and Property Comittee meeting there was. Some people were proposing to move from United Lutheran's current location and build a new church in the south end with no plans to include United Day Nursery in the new building. I pushed hard to stay at the current location because it is a beautiful church and a wonderful facility for our children. Dealing with the uncertainty from this situation was the most difficult part of the flood recovery for me.

The United Way, city and state meetings is where I got information about grant money available for flood reconstruction. Immediately I started writing grants to every foundation I could think of. It was a new experience for me because up to this time I had probably written two grants. Along with writing the grants, I had to get a hold of contractors to give me estimates on the cost of reconstruction. This was not easy because they were busy, but my being persistent paid off. They all came through and gave me estimates for general construction, electrical, mechanical, carpet, equipment, etc. Bill, Chris, and I made a list of educational toys and equipment lost with cost information. All this was necessary to complete the grant applications.

As for the grants I wrote, many of the foundations informed me they had given money to the North Dakota Community Foundation which was for flood recovery. However, others came through loud and clear and gave thousands of dollars for United Day Nursery's reconstruction. (The North Dakota Community Foundation also provided a large grant.) It was unbelieveable. We were so blessed. Now when I went to the Church's Property Committee, I could say we have X-number of dollars for the construction of a kitchen, etc. And that is when they gave us permission to go for it. It was a tremendous amount of work but so rewarding.

Donations also started coming in - from churches, parents of our children, friends, relatives, and complete strangers that heard about our devastation. The donations came in the way of educational toys, blankets, and money. Again, it was unbelieveable.

Go to Chapter Five...

Was it hard for you to concentrate on caring for the children when you had your own emotions regarding what the flood did to you and your family?

United Day Nursery staff members write...

The old lunchroom
Flood Helper
Director Suzie Thorson and one of the many people who helped

Go to Chapter Five...

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