LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A local charity is asking for the public’s helping hand after toys for more than 200 needy children and families where stolen just two days prior to distribution.
At least three large bags of toys were stolen Thursday morning from Ladera Heights resident Makeda Murray’s garage.
Murray, a retired school teacher, founded An Open Door charity in 2000. For the past 10 years, she and others have been collecting toys for the less fortunate to be handed out in time for Christmas.
For a decade, the toys, which were collected with the help of CHiPS For Kids and Toys For Tots, were stored every year in the garage of Murray’s home.
“We never thought somebody was watching and apparently somebody was this time,” Aaron Morrison of An Open Door said.
After the toys, valued at approximately $3,000, were discovered stolen, a heartbroken Murray posted a sign on her garage:
“Attn: Thieves!!! God is watching you & so am I…….know that you reap what you sow! Repent & return my stuff! Shame on you, those items were going to the needy!!! May God have mercy on your souls.”
The theft was reported to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, however the thieves have not been found.
“We’re pretty shocked,” Morrison said.
The toys were scheduled to be given out Saturday afternoon during the charity’s “Jingle Bash” at the Angeles Mesa Auditorium in Los Angeles.
An Open Door is now hoping for a Christmas miracle.
Those interested in helping may drop toys off between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday or between 8 a.m. and noon Saturday at the Angeles Mesa Auditorium, located at 2611 West 52nd Street.
Monetary donations can be made online at AnOpenDoor-LA.org.
“We want to make sure, like every year before, we can put smiles on kids’ faces,” Morrison said.