Hope restored at children's program

October 9, 2009 3:17:22 PM PDT
Thieves made away with more than just copper from a local Boys & Girls club last month -- they also took away hope from the children who participate in the program. This week the air conditioning that was ransacked is on track to be repaired thanks to a generous community.

For $10 a year, children can enter an after school world of learning and fun.

Last month children at join John Avery Boys & Girls club in Durham got more than they bargained for a real life lesson about the kind of world we live in.

"The A/C unit was vandalized," Program Director Ashley Johnston said.

Valuable copper was stolen from the unit. The unit provides air and heat for the entire downstairs part of the building.

Since the club operates from donations, replacing it would come with sacrifices.

"It was kind of hurting because we couldn't provide snacks, field trips -- to the state fair -- that had to be taken out," Johnston said.

What nobody expected was a disheartening setback would actually open the door to so many positives.

"Someone agreed to help replace our system, so that was the really big exciting news with the weather changing we really need the system replaced," Krystin McCauley, executive assistance for the Boys & Girls Clubs.

But the generosity doesn't end there.

When the community heard about what happened they respond in droves.

"We received gifts, toys games [and] food from our donors," Johnston said. "It was like Christmas here!"

Three-thousand dollars worth of comic books also were donated.

"People have come by and dropped off cash, checks," McCauley said. "We're at about $1,000. We've been blessed; we're very humbled by this."

Thieves may have gotten away with some copper, but their wrongs provided life lessons the children won't soon forget.

"This has been a wake-up call for them to be able to see the importance of giving back," McCauley.

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