A church on Chicago’s West Side was forced to cancel a baby supply giveaway after a group of people allegedly took donated diapers, wipes and other items without permission.
Pastor Michael Wright of the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in the city’s Austin neighborhood is now asking for help after the incident, which occurred Friday at the church and was first reported by Block Club Chicago.
“My heart just really dropped,” he said.
Wright says a group of women took advantage of a lone employee who was at the church Friday. Security video shows the group walking in and out of a side door, which Block Club reported had been propped open by two individuals who had been given access to the room where the items were stored.
Approximately 12-to-15 people were involved, according to the pastor.
“These people didn’t take stuff out of need. It wasn’t like they were hungry or needed this,” he said. “It was greed.”
The donated items were meant to be part of an event this weekend, which was expected to serve between 500 and 600 people.
“It’s not just moms. It’s grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, even fathers,” Wright said. “I have fathers who catch three or four buses to get here to get 60 diapers.”
Despite the disappointment, members of the congregation are helping to replenish the supply, and are hoping to get enough items stocked up to reschedule the giveaway event.
“I am a firm believer that all things work out for good,” Wright said. “We are called according to His purpose, so it really is working out of the good. The goal is to bless as many people as we can.”
Wright says those interested in helping donate baby items can do so at the church, located in the 800 block of North Central Avenue.