ATLANTA - A church with offices dedicated to feeding the hungry and helping those in need of medical care was targeted, not just once, but twice last week.
Burglars broke into Pulse Church in Southeast Atlanta. The building also houses Urban Recipe, a program that feeds the hungry and gives free medical care. The thieves got away with about $8,000 worth of electronics, equipment, and supplies. They also damaged several rooms in the church.
The break-ins were unfortunately not caught on camera, as church officials said they do not have surveillance in the offices and Sunday school classrooms. But police are still working to find the culprit.
"Yeah, it's demoralizing, it's hard, because what we are doing is providing for folks who are in need," said John Hale, who works at the charity.
"The work we are trying to do is made harder," said director Jeremy Lewis.
Workers sacrifice some comforts, such as air conditioning, opting to instead put the money into Urban Recipe.
The organization offers boxes of healthy foods to needy families, and offers a free health clinic, which is open twice a week to provide qualified medical care and prescription writing to those who are otherwise uninsured.
“We're sort of doing a labor of love here and providing for a lot of people who are in need, only to be a target for theft,” Hale said.
Already, some members of the community who have heard about the church’s plight have come to their aid. Several laptops and even a projector has been donated, but it is still a long ways away to getting this church’s charity work back up and running.
Anyone who wishes to help can donate at urbanrecipe.org.
Meanwhile, police are asking if anyone knows anything about the burglaries to call them or Atlanta Crime Stoppers.