MONESSEN (KDKA) – It was flooded by destructive waters with hundreds of toys damaged before Christmas.

But now, a local Salvation Army says it’s being flooded with donations and people willing to help out complete strangers.

“A miracle, in my opinion, has happened here,” said Lt. Susan Thwaite with the Monessen Salvation Army.

Melting snow, rain and clogged drains – the combination made for a soggy, wet, heartbreaking discovery at the Salvation Army in Monessen.

Hundreds of children’s toys reserved for families in need were waterlogged and damaged.

“We started with a small flood on Saturday evening and we had to ask the community for help to replace some toys that had been lost in that flood,” said Thwaite.

But what the Salvation Army was not expecting was an even bigger flood – a flood of generosity. People from near and far gave – and gave generously.

“I am speechless, I am shocked,” Thwaite said. “This is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Darlene Covol came from Belle Vernon. She, like so many others, answered the call for help.

“I feel like my family is blessed and I should help others too who can’t do it for themselves,” Covol said.

Bible groups pitched in too.

“It was so overwhelming, this is not what any of us expected,” one volunteer said.

In a matter of hours, donations and volunteers poured in – even more than were needed. The Salvation Army planned to help about 170 families this Christmas season. Now it will be able to help out an additional 75.

“On Saturday, I was having tears from loss, yesterday I was having tears from blessings,” Thwaite said.

Now the toys are being sorted and packed. They’ll soon be in the hands of thankful children, who otherwise would have gone without.

Thwaite has one final message for the public: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

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