Over $2K worth of Christmas gifts stolen from seniors, nonprofit says
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Hundreds of seniors could be without a gift this Christmas after a Grinch stole thousands of dollars worth of presents from a Mt. Airy nonprofit.
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, located on Colerain Avenue, is boarded up after it was broken into on Thursday night.
The nonprofit’s executive director, Ja’lah Willingham says police notified them of the break-in, but all the thief(s) left was a brick and some broken glass - $2,000 worth of presents were stolen.
“They definitely picked the higher valued items-- a lot of our gift cards are now missing, [along with] things like our air fryers [and our] vegetable spiralers,” Willingham said.
The presents were meant to be delivered to some of the 450 lonely or isolated seniors the organization serves in Cincinnati, many of whom do not have family or friends to spend the holidays with.
“These seniors are vulnerable-- they do not have a lot and to know a person would come in and take away from them is very disappointing and heartbreaking, especially at this time of year,” Willingham explained.
While it is difficult to imagine someone stealing from a nonprofit, Willingham says this is not the first time this has happened to the organization.
“Two years ago, the same thing happened where someone busted out one of our windows and came in and took some things,” she said. “The last time they did it they even went as far as going into our offices and taking checks and things of that sort.”
Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly only accepts donations from the community, and a loss of thousands of dollars is not something the organization can manage to lose.
“When things like this happen, it really hits us hard,” Willingham said.
Volunteers are working around the clock to try to figure out a solution and get something put together for the seniors by Christmas.
To help, visit Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly’s website.
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