A 53-foot container full of donations that was stolen from Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood last month has been located, but most of the items inside had been taken, the group’s founder said.
According to Delece Williams, who founded the Kidz Korna charity, the trailer was located in suburban Chicago Heights off a dirt road near 219th Avenue.
A photo from the scene shows boxes scattered around the trailer, and Williams says that approximately “five percent” of the items that had originally been in the trailer were still there when it was discovered.
The Kidz Korna organization had been collecting gifts to help families this holiday season when the container, donated by CSX Railroad, was reported missing in mid-November.
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The trailer, which contained toys, new clothes, shoes and essential items, had been taken away from the field that it was sorted in, according to the group. The container was being used to house items for the annual Winter Wonderland Driveby and Gift Giveaway Tour prior to the theft.
A neighbor said they had seen a tow truck come to the scene on the day the container was stolen, but thought nothing of it since the individuals had the proper equipment to move the unit.
Williams filed a police report in Chicago after the theft.
“People are relying on us,” she said when the theft was reported. “This year we were more excited because we had a lot of stuff for teenagers. We had jewelry donated to us. We had clothes, all kinds of brand new stuff.”
The group Flags of the Heart, which supports veterans and their families, was also impacted, with more than 500 brand new coats and a load of new toys having been stolen from the container.
The group says that members of the community interested in helping them recoup the losses from the stolen items can donate on the Kidz Korna and Flags of the Heart websites.