Vandalized Dallas Church Can't Afford to Fix Damage

Church is insured but doesn't have money for $1,000 deductible

By Andrew Tanielian
|  Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012  |  Updated 9:47 PM CDT
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Emanuel Lutheran Church in Dallas is in need of money after vandals broke in, destroying windows and leaving a mess.

Andrew Tanielian, NBC 5 News

Emanuel Lutheran Church in Dallas is in need of money after vandals broke in, destroying windows and leaving a mess.

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A Dallas church says it cannot afford the insurance deductible to cover damage done by vandals.

Vandals broke into Emanuel Lutheran Church's community center late Sunday night, causing $10,000 worth of damage.

"[It's] just frustrating. It's difficult for me to explain why it happens," said the Rev. Julio Cruz-Natal, the church's pastor.

The church is insured but does not have the money to pay the $1,000 deductible because it just replaced two air-conditioning units and a commercial fridge for its community food pantry.

"The offerings that come in depend largely, many times, [on] people on fixed income, so when something like this hits and we got to come up with, all of a sudden, with a $1,000 deductible, it becomes a real challenge and a real struggle for the church," Cruz-Natal said.

The vandals shattered windows, trashed a classroom and aimlessly tossed around food, even using a frozen turkey from the church's freezer to shatter more windows.

"It's just hard to believe that anyone would do that to our community center," said Mimi Hutchinson, who runs the church's summer reading program.

The program was supposed to begin Monday but was delayed for a day because of the vandalism. Hutchinson and others had spent 10 hours Sunday decorating the community center for the program's start.

When asked what he would say to the vandals, Cruz-Natal said it was a tough question to answer.

"Come join us," he said. "Come help us. We're trying to help people in our community."

People who wish to donate can call the church's main number at 214-824-8613.

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