Thieves steal donated Christmas toys meant for children in need

Someone broke into the offices of an Atlanta nonprofit organization and stole between 150 and 200 donated toys meant for children in historic South Atlanta just days before a community Christmas event. Focused Community Strategies president Jim Wehner said volunteers just missed encountering the thieves.

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"We had been out at a toy drive on Sunday and we were bringing the toys back," he said. "We came in the front door. They had broken in the back door. We actually interrupted them."

Wehner said in a statement on the FCS website that there was minimal damage.

The toys were being stored for FCS’ annual Pride for Parents Christmas event, where parents in the neighborhood are able to come in and "shop" for their children. The event is scheduled for Saturday, and the organization is hoping for new donations to replace the stolen ones.

"The experience has led to a conflicted sense of vulnerability and thankfulness," Wehner said in the statement. "My heart felt vulnerable because of the sense of trespass. It never feels good to have someone enter your space and do damage. The heart wants to ask questions of justification: Who would do this? Why on earth would someone take toys that were donated? This sense of vulnerability kept me awake until the early hours of that Monday morning.

"Let me be clear. This loss was not devastating. We lost a couple of large bags full of toys and some office equipment and tools. But if you have the ability to assist us this holiday season with an extra gift for ... a financial gift to help with replacement/repair costs of the office equipment, we would be so grateful."

Wehner also said the organization's Amazon wish list ist had been updated "to reflect the loss from the break-in."

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