Burglarized Oak Cliff Church Has Backpack Giveaway After All

Sunday, Aug 25, 2013  |  Updated 9:51 PM CDT
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 After a church break-in where a man kicked in doors and stole backpacks meant for children, strangers saved the day.  Organizations, businesses and individuals came through with backpacks, supplies to fill the backpacks and cash to buy more.

Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News

After a church break-in where a man kicked in doors and stole backpacks meant for children, strangers saved the day. Organizations, businesses and individuals came through with backpacks, supplies to fill the backpacks and cash to buy more.

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Frustration and disbelief swiftly turned to appreciation and relief.

"We've had a great response from far and near," said Reverend Charles Lawrence of Calvary Philadelphia Missionary Baptist Church in Oak Cliff.

After a church break-in where a man kicked in doors and stole backpacks meant for needy kids, strangers saved the day.  Organizations, businesses and individuals came through with backpacks, supplies to fill the backpacks and cash to buy more. That allowed the backpack giveaway the church planned on to happen less than a day before that first school bell rings. 

People here were touched by the community's kindness.

"I just thank God,” says church member Gena Bell whose granddaughter got a new backpack.  “I feel good about the community and just to know there's still good people in the world in spite.of."

Organizations, businesses and individuals came through with backpacks, supplies to fill the backpacks and cash to buy more.  That allowed the backpack giveaway the church planned on to happen, less than a day before that first school bell rings.  People here are touched.

"People came in, stepped in and helped out the kids and I just think it's a blessing,” said Jacqulin Jones, who’s daughter Janaya entering the first grade got a new backpack.

“I'd like everybody to have a backpack for school tomorrow," Janaya said.

"You don't know how our hearts feel to see that folks will come back to give to us to help us in time of need and that's what this world is about," said Rev. Lawrence.

As for the person who stole the original backpacks and damaged the church, church leaders say they’re praying for him.

"Maybe God has an opportunity to meet that young man and his heart has a change,” said Rev. Lawrence. 

“We're still going to forgive him.  We're still going to love him anyhow."

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