Local charity won’t let thieves stop it from helping this holiday season

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URBANDALE, Iowa — A metro charity dedicated to helping families that lost a loved one is the latest victim of thieves. EveryStep Care and Support Services refuses to let this loss prevent them from helping people.

Every year, the organization delivers boxes to make a difference for families who are going into the holidays without loved ones. When Grief and Loss Director Ashley Mori came into work Tuesday morning to put them together, she noticed something was different.

“Cheer boxes were kind of everywhere and scattered throughout the building, and certain items were just placed differently than they were,” Mori said.

The EveryStep team called the police and realized someone had broken into their space. Things were missing including gifts, electronics, and two of the organization’s vehicles. It’s a blow that was not only felt by EveryStep, but those they serve as well.

“Not only that you chose to steal and take someone’s property, but you did so from a group of people that were really in a vulnerable spot that really could have used a little brightness in their holiday season,” Tray Wade, EveryStep president and CEO, said.

Leaders knew the holidays wouldn’t wait, and they had more than 650 boxes to get out the door.

“There probably wasn’t a box in here that we didn’t have to regroup and look into and see if something was taken or not,” Wade explained.

Contents inside those boxes were irreplaceable.

“They’re not just everyday items that you can necessarily go shopping for,” Mori said. “For instance, we have a panda bear with a recordable heartbeat.”

As volunteers re-sort, re-wrap, and re-package the gifts for grieving families, one thing is clear. Despite the thieves’ best efforts…

“They haven’t stopped us from accomplishing our mission at all,” Wade said.

Urbandale Police are investigating the incident, and looking for the people involved as well as the two stolen vehicles. If you’d like to help, EveryStep says the best thing you can do is to donate money. You can learn more at their website.

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