Donated school supplies stolen
An overnight robbery of donated school supplies incited hurt and confusion among members of East Side's District 2 Community Council, the Pioneer Press reported.
The St. Paul-based council just finished its fifth annual drive for school supplies last week, and 3,000-plus donations were being held in an East Side space on Prosperity Avenue before being delivered to schools.
Lisa Heilman, community organizer for the district, called the incident "very surprising, and frustrating, because ultimately the purpose was giving to people in need."
Between Thursday and Friday, a burglar or burglers unlocked the front door by breaking through a nearby window. Inside the facility were tables loaded with backpacks, calculators, notebooks, pencils, pens, glue sticks and scissors. There was also a large box containing tissues.
Nobody saw the break-in. Police were notified after a neighbor saw a myriad of supplies scattered in front of the building Friday morning.
An estimated two-thirds of the items had been stolen, including the tissues.
"Of all the things stolen, that was the most shocking to me," Heilman said. "Maybe it's because they were so light."
The most expensive items taken were the calculators, which were headed to Cleveland and Hazel Park middle schools.
Council members expressed repeatedly that their sorrow was not for themselves, but for those who donated supplies only to have them stolen.
The drive was not completely quashed, however. The council still has several notebooks, pencils, and pens that will be donated. Additional supplies should be taken to District 2 Community Council offices at 1961 Sherwood Ave. in St. Paul.