BOISE -- Heavy snowfall and quick melting snow caused problems for home and business owners around the Treasure Valley Thursday morning. One non-profit organization's leaders went to work today to find significant water damage that's threatening their non-profit.
Handy Hands Reflections had water coming in through the ceiling Thursday morning, and they lost a lot. That's because the material they deal with most doesn't stand up well to water: Paper.
Preserving family memories
On Thursday afternoon, surrounded by soggy carpets and walls, Norma Chappell was still working. She was putting together a scrapbook for the family of Taylor Sauer, the 18-year-old who died in a car crash last weekend on I-84.
"I have her obituary cut out, so I'm following kind of her life," Chappell, Handy Hands Reflections President, explained as she worked. "I'm doing this page right now. She's heavily involved in 4-H."
The organization planned to present Sauer's family with the scrapbook on Friday. Jacki Kelsch, the founder and CEO of Handy Hands Reflections, explained the organization makes the books for families who've recently lost someone and for those in hospice care. They give the families the customized books at no charge.
"It's such a blessing to be able to do that. So they have an album that they can remember their family forever," Kelsch said.
'My heart sunk to my feet'
In its three years, Handy Hands has delivered more than 300 personalized scrapbooks to grieving families. On Thursday, the leaking roof caused a serious setback to their work.
"Right now, we have water running down the electrical panel. We probably shouldn't even be in here, but our albums, we've got to get those out of here," Kelsch said.
Water came through the ceiling, ran down the walls, and even got into the lights. Shelves of albums are ruined and stacks of special paper are destroyed. Some things that were stored in plastic and on shelves were saved, but had to be removed from the damp office quickly. For now, they've moved the what they can out, but they don't know what to do now.
"It just is sad because we've been able to rent this for a very good price, and now we probably won't have this place anymore, and we have no where to go," Kelsch said.
Pushing ahead and finding a way
Even though things are uncertain for now, the first order of business on Thursday was finishing Taylor Sauer's book in time to get it delivered on Friday. Next, Kelsch hopes to find a place to keep preserving memories for other grieving families.
"It's going to put a cramp in our style, but we're not done," Kelsch said.
How to help Handy Hands Reflections
Kelsch and Chappell are hoping the community might be able to help them find a place to store their things and have volunteers work on making more books. After they find a location, they will need more scrapbooking paper and supplies to get back to where they were.
If you'd like to contact them to donate or volunteer, you can call Jacki Kelsch at 208-602-2371 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org