Thieves Steal, but Kindness Prevails

A strange and wonderful thing happened in Glendale, Arizona. The strange part of it is that the local Salvation Army operation in Glendale was broken into and robbed. First of all, the thieves destroyed doors getting into the building and the office. Then they stole a computer and other electronic equipment and took a safe that had $1700 in it that volunteers had collected for the needy of the area as so many Salvation Army folks do all over this country.

When the authorities added all of the damage and thievery up, it came to a whopping $4,000 loss. The people who were in charge of the Salvation Army program in Glendale are a Korean man and his wife, Kihyun and Aeran Oh, who minister to the needy. When they looked at the surveillance tape, they recognized the two men who had broken into their operation. The police quickly arrested one of the men, but the other one is still running.

The local television station broadcast this story, and soon there was a response from the community. Here is where the wonderful thing happened. First, a group of construction workers donated their time and materials to repair the doors that were kicked in by the thieves. Glendale’s mayor, Jerry Weiers, offered to ring the bell for two hours at the Salvation Army kettle that was set up outside of a popular mall. Shortly after he announced his intentions, others in the community stepped forward to do the same thing.

armysalvationEven though the plans for the Salvation Army’s mission had been short circuited by the thieves, the Ohs forgave the thieves for their act.

Now here’s where it gets even more wonderful. After reading about the robbery, Rabbi David Linder of Temple Solel rallied the support of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix and delivered a check for $4,000 to the Korean Church office.

Rabbi Linder is quoted as saying that they “…shared some of our light with the Salvation Army.”

Obviously much more was received than was originally taken by the thieves. But even more than that, a whole community came together during this holy season, and that is a blessing and a lesson for them and for all of us.

Read the whole story on the Blaze.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Harry Livermore

Harry Livermore spent a lifetime teaching English in high schools and junior colleges in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. He now writes for and is editor of the Valdosta Magazine. Harry and his wife Janice live in Valdosta, GA. They are members of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Valdosta. Harry has two sons, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren who live in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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