Thieves ransack Columbus charity

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Someone broke into the national headquarters of A Special Wish this week, ransacked the office, and stole computers, money, and gift cards meant for the families of children who are in life threatening situations.

Broken glass was everywhere, files were thrown around the office, and a safe in director Pam Spring’s office was pried open. Thousands of dollars either in cash or gift cards were missing.

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“They took about 500 dollars in petty cash,” Spring said. “And then somewhere around five to six thousand dollars worth of gift cards and gift certificates that we had obtained for a couple of upcoming events such as some of our annual events as well as our Christmas party.”

A Special Wish is Ohio’s oldest wish-granting program, fulfilling the wishes of children and teens that have some form of life-threatening illness or situation.

They don’t always grant a trip to Disney.

In the early 80s, the organization helped Joyce Barrett when her toddler Katie was diagnosed with cancer.

“We got a ten gallon fish tank,” said Barrett, “Now, that’s not a Disney trip. It wasn’t a big deal. But for us as a family, the nights that we sat up with her towards the end at home, we would have the fish tank and it would be lit and she would watch the fish and laugh and that was kind of our entertainment with her.”

So whoever did this stole from them–the kids who may be dying, the kids who, with their families, just want a little happiness in the time they have left.

It gets worse.

The gift cards and money stolen was put aside for that Christmas party was a party for these same kids…all stolen and all gone.

There are pictures of children all around the office enjoying their special wish. Most of them are now dead.

“Seeing all these pictures of these kids I mean particularly the one with the oxygen, how can you….I mean it’s just hard for me to comprehend how you can walk into this and still…and follow through with what you came to do,” Spring said.

Insurance will pay for the stolen computers, but not the cash or gift cards.

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