Thieves Won't Stop Habitat for Humanity

By Susy Solis and Jane Geelan-Sayres
|  Monday, Nov 30, 2009  |  Updated 6:55 PM CDT
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Thieves Strike Habitat for Humanity Project

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Thieves steal Habitat for Humanity tools.

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North Texans Step Forward to Help Habitat

After thieves steal tools from Habitat for Humanity, North Texans step up to help.

Thieves Strike Habitat for Humanity Project

Tools stolen from a Habitat for Humanity project in Collin County puts project on hold.
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Taira Warrens' Christmas wish was to have a home of own her own.

She and dozens of Habitat for Humanity volunteers were on their way to making that wish come true.

They would meet every Saturday to work on Warren's home.

"To be able to build your own house has felt really good," said Warren, who is a single mother of 2.

Habitat volunteers hoped to turn over the home to its new owner in time for Christmas but thieves  threw a wrench into their plans.

"We got to the job site this morning and the tool trailer had been broken into," said Dale Casper, the House Leader on this project for Habitat for Humanity.

The North Collin County chapter of Habitat for Humanity is still relatively small. Casper estimated the equipment stolen was worth about 5,000 dollars.

"For an organization of our size, it's probably taken about 5 years to accumulate that kind of equipment. So it's a pretty major loss," said Casper. "We've got the homeowner we're trying to get in by Christmas and it's going to be tough to get her in."

The news was a devastating blow to Warren, who already has plans of decorating her new home for the holidays.

"I was crushed. It was really hurtful," said Warren. "We started packing so that we're ready. It's going to be really hard if we can't get in by Christmas."

Habitat volunteers say they are already strapped for cash in this weak economy and it may take years for them to accumulate the tools that were stolen a second time.

"We've had contributions from large corporations and large churches that this year, haven't contributed and you can't blame them. Everybody's hurting," said Casper.

Habitat for Humanity helps homeowners build affordable housing.

Volunteers say they'll have to scramble to borrow enough equipment to finish the homes in time for Christmas.

"I feel like they haven't just stolen from me, they've stolen from Habitat. They've stolen from future families," said Warren. "They've taken from a lot of people."

On Sunday North Texans came out to make donations to Habitat.

Sheryl Bull dropped off a air compressor.

"My dad was in the construction business and I know what it takes to build a house," said Bull. "Someone taking all these tools is a real big setback."

A temporary donation drop has been set up at :

421 Power House Drive, McKinney, Texas from noon to 5pm, Monday or contact Dale Casper at 214-914-6574.

You can contact North Collin County Habitat  for Humanity here.

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