The Salvation Army operation in Glendale, Arizona was hit hard on Dec. 2nd when thieves kicked down an office door and made off with electronic equipment, a safe and $1700 in cash that volunteers had collected in the charity's iconic red kettles.
When all of the damages were tabulated, the robbers — whose actions were caught on security cameras — put a $4,000 dent in the operation.
This particular Salvation Army location is affiliated with a Korean church in Glendale operated by Kihyun and Aeran Oh.
The husband and wife actually recognized the the two men who perpetrated the crimes. For months, the men have been frequent visitors and regularly received assistance from the Salvation Army.
Thanks to the information provided by the church leaders, Glendale police have already arrested 38-year-old Mark Dollar and he confessed to participating in the crime. The other suspect, John Bardy, is still on the run.
The theft could have been a devastating blow to the Salvation Army's plans to provide food, clothing and support for the many needy people in the area. However, when the story hit the local press, the community of Glendale responded in a big way.
Within hours of the local television coverage, a group of construction workers donated their time and materials to repair the doors that were kicked in by the crooks.
Glendale's Mayor Jerry Weiers immediately rallied local support for donations and offered his services to "ring the bell" this coming Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a Salvation Army kettle set up outside of a popular area outlet mall.
“I am so proud of our city. I hear we have already raised between three and four thousand dollars for the wonderful couple that runs the Korean church and Salvation Army chapter here in Glendale. And that's before I start ringing my big bell tomorrow," Weiers said in an interview with TheBlaze on Friday afternoon.
Mayor Weiers added to TheBlaze that he was deeply moved by the Korean couple's immediate forgiveness of the two men who broke into their building and robbed them.
"They are an example and a reminder for all of us, especially during the Christmas season," Weies said, referring to the Ohs.
The mayor was not the only one who stepped up to help the Salvation Army. A group of rabbis representing the area also reached deep into their collective pockets and donated a significant amount of money.
After reading about the robbery, Rabbi David Linder of Temple Solel rallied the support of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix. Linder spoke with TheBlaze right after delivering a $4000 check to the Korean Church offices.
"We exchanged humanity and shared some of our light with the Salvation Army," said Linder.
Considering the donations already gathered and the $4,000 check delivered from the Board of Rabbis, the Korean church of Glendale and the Salvation Army may actually find themselves on better financial footing than they were before the robbery — and that's not counting any money that may be collected on Saturday at the mall.
As mayor Weiers told TheBlaze, "We've turned something bad into something good. It's real tribute to Glendale."
Watch the local television coverage of the story:
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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