Donation items intended to help needy children stolen from Popla - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Donation items intended to help needy children stolen from Poplar Bluff church


Police in Poplar Bluff are looking for whoever broke into a church and stole donated items that were intended for helping children in need.

The pastor and members at Grace United Methodist Church are calling what happened here at their church “sad.” However, they’re not going to let it stop them from continuing to help those in need.

Sharon Gingery heads up the church’s donation efforts to help underprivileged children. While she said the thieves didn’t take it all, they got lots of clothes and hygiene products like brand new bottles of shampoo.

“A box and it had at least 25 or more, 30 of them,” Gingery said.

The church gathers these items all year long for an organization called “Festival of Sharing” and then ships them across the state and even internationally.

“The whole church goes into it,” Gingery said.

It’s a labor of love that was snatch away.

“You’re a low-life scumbag if you want to steal from a church that’s going to be giving to somebody in need,” Poplar Bluff Police Chief Danny Whiteley said.  

It was an act that Whiteley said crosses the line when it comes to respect.

“There are some things you just don’t cross and that’s one of the lines. It’s similar to going into a cemetery and doing damage to a cemetery. I don’t care if you’re an adult, a child, a kid, you don’t need to be doing that. If it is kids, or children, doing it then the parents have a problem because they didn’t raise those kids right,” Whiteley said.

Police are aggressively searching for suspects, and even calling for the culprits to come forward.

“Everybody makes mistakes and we can forgive mistakes if you stand up and say, ‘Hey that was the wrong thing to do, here’s the stuff back,’” Whiteley said.

Meantime, Gingery said the church is pressing on, even those they won’t be able to give as much as they had hoped.

“We are okay. The church is okay. We are just missing some things. We may not have as many this year, but then we will just start right back,” Gingery said.

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