Thieves may have gotten away with valuables and cash from an area thrift store, but it did nothing to deter the organization from its mission of helping others.
Hillcrest Thrift Store in Lee’s Summit was burglarized in the late night hours of Nov. 4 or the early morning hours of Nov. 5 of more than $800 in cash and jewelry, electronics and other valuables used to assist families in their 90-day transitional housing program.
The store’s manager, Gayle Brunson, said despite the break-in, the store and its parent organization Hillcrest Transitional Housing, have seen the philanthropic community in just a few days step to the plate with donated goods and services.
“I was shocked and it was a lot of disbelief and disappointment,” Brunson said when reached Nov. 6. “I also know that the community that supports Hillcrest will take care of it.”
The store’s computer and surveillance equipment were among the items taken, Brunson said.
“One of our volunteers came and fixed the door that had the issues and secured all the doors in the building again,” she said. “We had another couple of guys who re-wired all of the computer systems that had been cut up and this afternoon we have someone coming to look at our security system to re-wire it. All of that is volunteer.”
Hillcrest Transitional Housing Director Cotton Sivils echoed sentiments similar to Brunson’s about the community’s support of the organization.
“People understand what we do,” Sivils said Nov. 7. “The service that we provide to homeless families is very valuable. Anytime we experience something like this, the community steps forward in terms of need to help us address whatever challenges may be facing us.
“Just like all of those other things and times, the community has stepped forward and said ‘we’re going to help Hillcrest to work through this.’”
Lee’s Summit Police are currently investigating the break-in, but as of Nov. 7 hadn’t made any arrests in the case. As in most cases, law enforcement urges anyone with information about the burglary to contact them on their TIPS hotline at 816-969-1752.
In the meantime, Brunson and her team of workers and volunteers will keep on keeping on in regards to the families that need them most.
“I ordered in lunch for everybody (Nov. 6) so that they can stay in a little bit longer and help get straightened up,” she said. “Thankfully, one of our board members came and got some money out of the bank and we were able to open up around 11:30 (a.m.), which was only an hour and-a-half late and about 10 minutes after the police left.”