Cold weather blamed for busted pipes at El Mirage charity

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 12:01 PM

EL MIRAGE, Ariz. -- The Valley of the Sun's cold weather caused havoc for a local charity in El Mirage.

The Clothing Shop was soaked over the weekend when two pipes broke.

The charity serves those in need and gives them free clothes.

"The group of women that I had working with this morning just comforted me and let me know it's going to be better," said CEO Chick Klein. "There's a reason for this."
 
Klein said he found the two leaks in the copper pipes in the ceiling.

On Sunday the place was gushing with water. By Tuesday several bags of insulation were piled in the entrance. On the racks were soiled clothes.      

"Two weeks ago Tuesday, we hit our 27,000th referral that we've helped since we've been in El Mirage," Klein said.

Now the operation has been forced to stop until the necessary repairs are made to the building.  

On Tuesday, Klein said he had to turn away 15 people in need of new clothes.

3TV was there as one man showed up for clothes and was told to come back in a few weeks.

The Clothing Shop has been in El Mirage for three years.

Klein said a foster child once confused him with Santa Claus because of his gray beard.

"He runs to me and says 'Santa, Santa,' and I picked him up and his mom is standing there and he says, 'New clothes, new clothes," Klein said.

Now it’s the CEO who needs new clothes for his charity.

During our interview a woman stopped by with a donation.

"I'm just bringing stuff here I think people will need," she said. "So pass it on to someone else who needs it."

Klein's staying positive even though it could be weeks before his place is cleaned up.

"It's an adjustment you have to make, but I know it's going to be better," he said.

The charity has insurance to cover the water damage but they're always accepting clothes and monetary donations.

For more information send an email to chick@theclothingshop.org or call 623-329-8830.

You should call before dropping off a donation to 11733 River Road, El Mirage, as The Clothing Shop is only open for appointments and referrals.
 

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