Local groups ask for help after 53ft container full of donations was stolen in Englewood – NBC Chicago

Group collecting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts to help families this holiday season is in desperate need of answers after an entire shipping container is stolen from an Englewood lot where the organization was storing the items .

The Kidz Korna organization was storing the items in a 53-foot container, donated to the charity by CSX Railroad, for its annual Winter Wonderland Driveby and Gift Giveaway tour, according to a press release from the group.

On November 19, the group was shocked to learn that the container, which contained toys, new clothes, shoes, essentials, household appliances and other items, had been stolen.

“People are counting on us,” said founder Delece Williams. “This year we were more excited because we had a lot of things for the teenagers. We were donated jewelry. We had clothes, all kinds of brand new stuff.

Now all that’s left of the container are rusty chains, which the group thinks someone used to load the container and chase it away.

“One of the neighbors said he saw a tow truck arrive on Friday,” Williams said. “But because they had the equipment to move it, he didn’t think anyone was stealing it.”

The container was over 80% full of toys and other items, Williams said, and the items inside were worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Williams filed a police report and Chicago Police said they were investigating the theft.

Sharon Preston of the Flags of the Heart organization says they also had donations in the container.

“We had over 500 new coats in there, as well as new toys,” she said.

Donations were intended to go to local families, as well as other organizations with which Kidz Korna partners.

Flags of the Heart, an organization that supports veterans and their families, was one such group.

“It hurts a lot, because we took a lot of money out of our own pockets and bought stuff at the end of the year when they branded the toys and stuff,” Preston said.

The couple are working with other groups to try and collect as many donations as possible, but with less than a month of Christmas they are feeling the pressure.

“I have so many people who rely on us every year that I just don’t know how to tell them I don’t have the material right now,” said Williams.

Group says community members interested in helping them recover lost stolen items can donate on the Kidz Korna and The Flags of the Heart websites.

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