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CHEHALIS, WA, Feb. 15, 2008 -- In early December, a wide swath of the Pacific Northwest experienced the worst flooding in over a century. Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire said the storms that ravaged her state caused an unprecedented amount of damage that is expected to run into billions of dollars.
Two cities hit particularly hard were Centralia and Chehalis, each about 90 miles south of Seattle. Golden-based EZSchoolSupplies, LLC had previously donated much needed school supplies to schoolchildren in Iraq and South Africa and wanted to lend a helping hand to students and their families closer to home.
A call from a company executive initiated to Tim McKamey, Assistant Superintendent with the Archdiocese of Seattle (headed since 1997 by Most Rev. Alex J. Brunett, Archbishop of Seattle) quickly put the wheels in motion.
"The Archdiocese oversees 69 private schools statewide covering an area half the size of Germany," McKamey said. "The floods affected thousands of families and it was especially tough because they occurred so close to Christmas, so when EZSchoolSupplies, LLC offered to help it really was like an angel in the dark for us."
The Archdiocese initially coordinated efforts between EZSchoolSupplies, LLC and St. Joseph's School in Chehalis. The school was founded in 1885 and has 164 students. Although the building escaped damage, the surrounding area was devastated. According to Principal Kendra Meek, 170 local businesses were completely destroyed and half of the student body was directly affected.
"Some families were evacuated by Coast Guard helicopter and one family almost lost their lives because the water was rushing into their home so fast - fortunately they had two boats and were able to escape," Meek said. "The water's force was incredible - homes were completely taken off their foundations and a mailbox from one house was found 30 miles downstream."
Key supplies that were sorely needed by students included notebooks, colored rule paper, backpacks, pens, pencils, crayons, even Elmer's Glue. The supplies were delivered to St. Joseph's which in turn distributed them to students there and at Centralia Christian School, located a few miles down the road. Unlike St. Joseph's, Centralia Christian School experienced significant water damage.
Although it will take months, if not years, for many of these families to recover from the floods, Meek said it has been a blessing having people come forward to help keep the focus on student learning.
"It was vital for the students to return to a normal routine as quickly as possible," Meek said. "Our school community was out of school for almost a week. We can't thank EZSchoolSupplies, LLC enough for what they have done for us."
Golden, CO-based EZSchoolSupplies, LLC (www.ezschoolsupplies.com) established in 2003, offers parents and teachers nationwide an easy and cost-effective way to purchase school supplies online. The company provides different prepackaged boxes of brand name school supplies for students in grades K-12 that are shipped either to customers' front doors or directly to schools. Up to 10 percent of each purchase is donated back to the school (based on participation of enrolled students). For more information please call (888) 571-1878 or log on to www.ezschoolsupplies.com.
Return to: 2008 News Releases