Gifts and cash for troops stolen from Hanford church

HANFORD, Calif.

The burglary happened at the First Christian Church in Hanford on Cameron near Whitmore.

These care packages were being put together by the youth group at First Christian Church in Hanford. Bridgetta Longfellow is the Youth Minister at the church. Monday when she came to work she found several offices had been broken into, including her own. "Sad that this happened, but we're not going to let this detour what we're doing and the ministry that we're doing."

In an effort to teach her youth group about giving, Longfellow has the teens put together care packages like these to send to South Valley servicemen deployed in Afghanistan. "The people are not home so it makes them feel like they're at home and makes them really happy," said Leann Mize with the youth group.

The burglar or burglars not only made off with food, including fudge made specifically for the church's hometown heroes, but they also stole cash. Hanford Police say nearly $300 was taken.

"The money that I was going to use from that box was going to go to ship everything," said Longfellow.

Longfellow said she's not sure how she'll fund the shipments, but she believes it will all work out. "Someway or another we're going to get those other three boxes mailed."

This is not the first time crooks smashed in the doors at this church. "We had just gotten through with painting them and everything. So now we're in the process of repairing them," said Longfellow.

The church had purchased the doors a year ago when crooks smashed in the old ones.

Police have no suspects in this case. In the meantime the church is hoping to collect enough money to send these gifts to the troops before Christmas.

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