Donations Allegedly Taken from Hope Center

Friday, January 16th 2009, 7:38 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Despite the struggling economy, a metro charity is seeing an increase in donations.

Sounds like good news for Edmond's HOPE Center. But, thieves are allegedly getting to the donations before the charity can.

That's because of the collection hours. At Edmond's HOPE Center, they've only been open for donations during a typical work day, and inside the Hope Center donations are piling up.

"Edmond has always been so generous responding to a need when they know there are other people in need," Executive Director of Edmond's HOPE Center Chris Sperry said.

The clinic is meant to help people in urgent need with food, clothing and basic financial assistance and lead them to the right resources.

Recently, donations have been pouring in but they haven't arrived at the right time and it's created a problem after hours.

"If things are left outside, either people come and they might go through the bags and take things, they may leave the rest of it open, so that it's open to the elements," Executive Director of the HOPE Center Chris Sperry said.

Thieves are supposedly ravaging through donations and leaving a mess behind. It's costing the Hope Center money to clean up, and forcing them to trash many of the donations that were meant for needy Oklahomans.

"We do need all their donations, and we just want to be able to use it like they want us to, to share it with the people who need it," Sperry said.

That's why the HOPE Center is expanding collection hours. They'll be open not only during the work week, but also for a time on the weekend.

On Saturdays, the HOPE Center will now be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The new hours start the first Saturday of February.

The Edmond Police Department said no one can be arrested for taking items left outside. It's considered abandoned property, and it's not a crime.