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To the person or persons who broke into a thrift shop

By CHARLES REYNOLDS
June 22, 2016

Sometime between Tuesday, June 14 at 5:15 p.m. and Wednesday, June 15 at 9:45 a.m., someone thought they needed to break into the Calling All Angels Thrift Shoppe in Milford, PA. This shop is operated by Calling All Angels Mission, a nonprofit staffed mostly by volunteers, and is in the business of helping those in our community in need.

I am the manager of the shop as well as being on the board of directors for the mission. I have heard people tell me I should be angry. They say they would feel violated if this had happened to them. Some even asked bluntly “who would break into a thrift shop?” to which I had no answer except that it must have been someone desperate.

I am neither. What I am is annoyed. Annoyed that someone would create unnecessary work for me that takes me away from my duties to the shop and to the community. Annoyed that our volunteers now feel just a little bit less safe. Annoyed that I have to clean up their mess, block off the broken windows in case it rains. Annoyed that someone would feel it necessary to destroy property that is not only not theirs, but it is not ours either. We rent. So this means the landlord must worry about the damage and about the other businesses in the building.

But I am mostly annoyed that someone would feel the need to break into a thrift shop (which doesn’t really have a lot of things with huge value; no high-ticket items here) and break into a nonprofit that is here for those in need.

If someone truly is in need and feels their only recourse is to turn to crime in order to survive, they need only come to us and talk to us. They need only go to one of our partner agencies like Hands of Hope, Safe Haven, the Food Pantry, or a local church, and that agency will refer them to us for assistance.

So to the person or persons who felt the need to break not one but two windows in our shop, who felt they were so far down that they had no other option than to steal from someone else, I have only this to say: Come talk to us.

You don’t have to say it was you who did it. Just come and tell us what’s going on. We might be able to help. We have lots of contact resources to point you in the right direction. We have clothing. We have household items, dishes, sheets, blankets—whatever you need. At Calling All Angels, it is our modus operandi to offer those in need a “hand out” to help them out now and a “hand up” to keep them from falling back into the situation they find themselves in.