‘Operation Addy’ In Need Of Donors, Could Face Closure In September
UPDATE: A GoFundMe page has been created. Find it here: https://www.gofundme.com/save-operation-addy-sd-nonprofit
LENNOX, S.D. – A string of unfortunate events has left a local nonprofit scrambling. For eight years Operation Addy has provided everyday items, like diapers and clothing, to those in need. But now, a major donor has pulled out from the group, and the head of the organization doesn’t know if they can continue their mission.
“It kind of broke my heart a little bit when I thought about it,” says the founder of Operation Addy, Tony Tripp.
Over the weekend, Tripp received some bad news about the Lennox-based nonprofit’s biggest donor. Tripp wouldn’t disclose who it is, but he found out they won’t be providing resources anymore because of a change in company policy.
“We used to get them and now they’re being sent out of state and being divided, and either sold or sent overseas,” he explains.
It’s a major blow to the small town charity.
“That was my main donor for diapers, which without that, almost leaves us dead in the water,” says Tripp.
Operation Addy has significantly grown over the years.
“On average, when were in our busy season, we help about 50 families a week,” says Tripp. “If were conservative and say 100 families a month, that’s 9,600 families in the 8 years that we’ve been doing it.”
The items collected, and stored in a school bus, are given to those going through a rough patch.
“I’m just getting diapers and maybe some wipes,” says an Operation Addy recipient, who doesn’t want to disclose of their name. “We had our cars break down within the last month, so that was a little stressful.”
But Tripp’s giving goes beyond collecting and dropping off donations. He recently replaced items stolen from an elderly woman’s purse, he organized a Sioux Falls Easter egg hunt for kids with special needs, and he cleaned up the Outdoor Campus after coming across some vulgar graffiti.
“It’s nice to be able to help people when they get in a jam or a tough spot,” says Tripp.
And he doesn’t want to stop, which is why Tripp is taking to Facebook looking for a new sponsor or donations.
“We need somebody to see this video and say ‘hey these guys do well and I want to help them'”
Tripp says it’s either this, or ‘Operation Addy’ will shut down come September.
“As of right now we don’t have any other options,” he says.
Tripp says he is in need of $6,000 to continue the nonprofit. This will go towards diaper and clothes donations, as well as rent for building space, which he says he is in desperate need of for storage and operational use.
“The building I was really close on signing a lease on, which I was contemplated last week, but that was made possible by the donations that we were getting,” says Tripp. “So without that, we’re left high and dry.”
A month and a half ago, Tripp also lost a sponsor when it went out of business. Operation Addy is a 501C3, so donations are tax deductible.