Fayetteville Habitat for Humanity showered with donations after nearly $10k worth of tools stolen for second time in 7 months

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- On top of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fayetteville area Habitat for Humanity has needed to overcome two thefts in the last seven months, one of them happening on Sept. 22.

Ron Gunter, the Chief Executive Officer for the non-profit, said the theft happened sometime between 5 p.m. Tuesday evening to early Wednesday morning. The locks on the trailer door were broken and more than $9,300 worth of tools were taken.

"Why would someone do this? Why would they do that, knowing that this is a habitat community, knowing that this is a team effort of so many to make this happen," Gunter said.

Tools like saws, drills, tables, saws, all gone. To make matters worse, the equipment was on loan from another non-profit who provides tools to groups like Habitat for Humanity. They were loaning the items after Gunter says their entire trailer was stolen back in March.

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Incredibly, this is the second time this year the group's tools have been stolen.

"Since then, we found out that our insurance won't cover it... that makes the loss even greater in that we have to replace all these tools," Gunter added. Another wrench in their plans to complete the Oakridge Estates in Fayetteville where lower-income families can find affordable housing. COVID-19 has already added to setbacks, as they try to finish building more than 40 homes in this community.

Habitat for Humanity took their grief to social media, sharing what happened to followers and ABC 11. Since their initial post on Sept. 23, monetary donations have been coming their way.

"Last week it was $3,300, but we recently had a church that just contacted us that said they want to help us with an additional $5,000," Gunter said. That leaves them just shy of their $9,300 mark. Hope Mills restaurant Rustic Burger recently announced they too want to pitch in. The owner, Jon Schmier, stating they'll hold a fundraiser on Oct. 21.

Gunter tells Eyewitness News their organization is grateful to be receiving all of this help but wishes it wouldn't have to come to this. "We're here to help. We're wanting to give, not take away". At this time, he says Fayetteville Police are still investigating the theft.

Even with the losses, there's no slowing down Habitat for Humanity. They're looking to finish constructing 10 homes right before Christmas. After that, they'll finish another 15 by 2021.

If you would like to help, you can go to their website to contact Habitat for Humanity, regarding donations or volunteer opportunities.
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