The Salvation Army saw the worst and the best of Terrace last weekend following the theft of jewelry for their Christmas-season public auction.
Capt. Jim VanderHeyden received a call of a break in of the Thrift Store around 2:45 a.m. Saturday morning. Upon investigation he discovered someone had smashed the front display windows, making off with about $800 worth of jewelry.
Terrace RCMP are investigating the theft and canvassing the area for witnesses and possible surveillance footage.
Being part of the Salvation Army’s Christmas season fundraising efforts, the theft was a hard blow.
“It’s terrible but especially so when we’re trying to do so much for the community right now. We’re pushing toward 500 [food] hampers.”
He felt the theft was a violation not only against the Salvation Army, but the community in general.
“This is how a lot of people do their part at Chrismas, to give back back. It just happens to come through us.”
The stolen jewelry was recently appraised at $800, but there’s no way of telling how much more it may have fetched from the auction. At the time of the theft, bidding had nearly reached the appraised value.
The Thrift Store holds public auctions every six to eight weeks to benefit various youth ministries. This time of year however the Salvation Army throws every ounce of fundraising toward food hampers and gifts for children.
“We always like to say Christmas isn’t about gifts, but when you’re nine, maybe it is,” said Captain Deb VanderHeyden. “Maybe it’s all about a little joy a child gets from Santa Clause. Our Christmas fundraising offers hope to families; it takes off some of that stress. They don’t have to wonder if they’ll have a nice Christmas dinner. They will. They don’t have to wonder if their children will have a gift. They will.
“And then you get called to work and you see that [theft]. It’s disheartening.”
Already exhausted from the Christmas season, the VanderHeydens however said the kind words and practical help offered by the community since the theft has turned their mood to one of gratitude.
“The community has been amazing,” Deb added. “They have given us new items and we already have a new auction set up. We’re so grateful. It’s really something.”
To bid on the auction, or to donate items, visit the Thrift Store at 3236 Kalum Street in Terrace.