RELATED: Strongest storm in years brings torrential rain, flooding to Bay Area
During last week's storm, Downtown San Rafael flooded. In photos, the street and area outside Ritter Center looked like a lake, which means inside, more than a foot of water destroyed much of the pantry operation.
"It's really hard for the families who come here, 350 families a week get food from us. It helps them to stretch their very limited income because they may need to pay for other things like gas and transportation and rent," said Ritter Center Executive Director, Mark Shotwell.
VIDEO: Marin County recovering from super storm
The water destroyed most of the food supply, as well as $10,000 worth of office furniture, equipment, and computers - all needed to run the center and its numerous community programs.
"It's important for us to get this up and running so we can help people who have lots of challenges in the world," explained Shotwell.
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"If it had not been for Ritter, I would have died because they looked after me, they took care of me, they got me all the doctors, they got me all the treatments and medications," said Ritter client, Sandra McMillion.
McMillion uses the Ritter's health clinic, which was also damaged by water, along with most of the outdoor COVID tents. It's unclear what that damage all adds up to, but McMillion, who used to be homeless, hopes people help Ritter, for the same reason it helped her.
"It made me feel like a human. For the first time in my life I felt like somebody cared."
Ritter is hoping to be fully reopened before Thanksgiving to ensure families in need receive their turkeys.
They accept donations on their website.