The actions of one will not spoil the efforts of those in the Lee’s Summit community who opened their hearts and wallets to donate to the relief efforts in a tornado-ravaged town in Oklahoma, said an official from an area church that was recently burglarized.
Amy Bartlett, missions director for Woods Chapel United Methodist Church, said a recent theft from a trailer parked on the church’s property will not and has not deterred well-wishers from restocking the trailer, which was burglarized around 8:20 a.m. May 27.
The trailer sat on the church’s property at 4725 N.E. Lakewood Way readying for a trip to Moore, Okla. before a white male seen on surveillance video clipped a lock and pilfered some of the donated items.
Moore, Okla. was the site of a category EF5 tornado May 20, and the community there continues to rebuild as others from around the country flood the town with donated goods.
“We were collecting different items such as rakes, shovels, baby diapers, wipes and formula,” Bartlett said June 3, a day or so before a reloaded truck full of donations was scheduled to head to Moore to render aid. “Work gloves, garbage bags; things of that nature. It was very disappointing that somebody would take donations meant to help the people of Oklahoma, certainly.”
The replenished trailer was filled with even more goods after reports of the initial burglary became public.
“We have gotten a lot of generous donations and the trailer is full and we are taking that trailer down to Oklahoma this week,” Bartlett said. “Hopefully we’ll fill it again this week and make another trip down there next week.”
The case is being investigated by multiple jurisdictions in the Kansas City area as the burglary at Woods Chapel United Methodist was one of a reported 16 involving area churches.
“We’re not going to focus on the one person’s actions,” Bartlett said. “We’re focused on the people who have brought donations instead, and really reached out to care for the people of Oklahoma. That is what we are here to do.”
Those interested in donating can bring items to the church from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. now until June 7, and also from 8 a.m. to noon June 9. An items-needed list is located on the church’s website www.woodschapelchurc
“We had originally set our deadline for this coming Sunday, June 9,” Bartlett said. “That is when we are going to stop taking donations, but if things continue to come in we will get them to Oklahoma.”