Warren County nonprofit dedicated to helping others now a target for thieves

Warren County nonprofit dedicated to helping others now a target for thieves

MORROW, Ohio (FOX19) — An organization dedicated to giving back has become the target of a thief, according to volunteers, but they say they have no plans of giving up their cause.

Tabitha’s Closet re-purposes gently used clothing to give it to those who need it most. Volunteers say they spend hours each week organizing the clothing donations by size.

Once a month, or by appointment, they open the doors to the community, and all of the clothing and other items inside are offered for free.

Board members Tammy Potts and Paul Russo said for them, helping others is priceless.

“You just spend an hour in here listening to someone’s story and getting to know them and just being able to help,” Potts said.

For Potts and Russo, it is a passion with a purpose. In the more than ten years the organization has been running, they said they have served thousands of people.

They work with social workers, foster families and school districts, Russo says, and they help girls who are preparing for prom by offering them free prom dresses.

“A lot of times we have girls who that dress may be their rent for the month, their mortgage, their grocery payment, and they just simply can’t buy the dress,” Potts said.

The organization, Russo explains, runs on the generosity of the community through donations. Any extra items are given to Matthew 25 Ministries.

Those who want to drop off donations can leave them at the front door of the non-profit’s building.

However, Russo says someone has been taking advantage of that by repeatedly stealing items that appear valuable, likely to re-sell them.

“They’re breaking into our bags, our donations,” Russo said. “They’re taking them from us before we can use them. They’re leaving what they don’t want exposed to the elements in which case we can’t use them for anyone else.”

To combat the thefts, Russo says they have installed security cameras and contacted police, who are now upping patrols in the area.

They hope the person responsible stops, but they say nothing will stop them.

“Help us support our mission ‘loving God by loving others,’” Russo said. “And you don’t love God by stealing. You love God by giving.”

Tabitha’s Closet is open to the public every third Saturday of the month.

For more information on how to donate, volunteer or seek help, visit the non-profit’s Facebook page or website.

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