Christmas Charity Ripped Off By Thieves

Warehouse hit five times

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    A Bay Area nonprofit won't let thieves stop the gift-giving.

    "I hope who ever did this really needs it," said Donna Savitz of Concord, Calif., as she contemplated the news that the Christmas for Everyone charity had been robbed.

    Robbed for the fifth time.

    Savitz, a volunteer who folds clothes and packs blankets and toys for the nonprofit, said she couldn't believe someone would steal from the charity, especially when so many people need help during the holiday season.

    Mary Perez, the director of Christmas For Everyone, said the warehouse, whose location in Contra Costa County is a closely held secret, was ripped off five times in three weeks.

    The thieves stole, toys, coats, blankets and more.

    The organization has been going strong for 24 years, serving about 3,000 people a year and several hundred on Christmas Day. It aims to make sure no one spends Christmas alone.

    "I got laid off recently," said Savitz. "My daughter told me to come down here with her and volunteer my time.  I'm glad to do it because it's the right thing to do."

    On Christmas, people come to shop, have dinner and enjoy some entertainment.

    Perez said at first she didn't report the burglary to police because she didn't want to call attention to the warehouse.  Now she feels the attention might help her recoup some of the items she lost.

    "The fact that people came in so many times to burglarize the warehouse is really sad," said Perez. "[But] Christmas will go on despite it all."