An unconventional North Texas Boy Scout troop has fallen victim to an all-too-common crime.
Late last week someone stole the travel trailer used by Arlington Troop 517 from the parking lot of Arlington's First United Methodist Church.
The troop had recently returned from a several days-long trip to Worth Ranch in Palo Pinto County — about 60 miles west of Fort Worth. As such, the trailer was still packed to the brim with supplies, including 10 cots, folding chairs, backpacks, twine and other necessities.
"My heart sank," said Scoutmaster Becky Nussbaum when she saw the empty parking spot the trailer typically occupied when she showed up for Sunday morning service. "It really makes me sad."
Nussbaum's nine scouts are not the typical Boy Scout troop. They all have special needs and range in age from teenagers to age 53. Troop 517 even has a 51-year-old who recently earned his Eagle Scout status.
"To have to tell them that someone stole our trailer - they asked me, 'Why?' And I don't know why. It seems heartless," Nussbaum said.
A much-needed dose of good news came Wednesday evening.
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Graydon Wall, the owner of Christian Brothers Automotive in Grand Prairie, started a campaign to help Troop 517.
"We just feel really blessed to be able to help them," said Wall.
Wall's children are also Boy Scouts, and he became emotional as he explained how the recent theft of the camping trailer inspired him to rally up troops of his own.
"We want to make it better for them than what they had before. I mean, way beyond," he said.
With the willingness of dozens of other Christian Brothers store owners around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Wall has now spearheaded a campaign to not only replace the troop's trailer, but also customize it.
"The trailer is going to have an actual tailgate ramp that'll come down, so they'll be able to walk right up in there real easily and be able to get the contents out," Wall said.
Nussbaum called Wall's offer "amazing" and said her heart was overflowing just days after she had to break the difficult news to her Scouts.
"Sometimes when a thief steals something they don't realize the implications or the ramifications that they're creating in other people's lives. They're just, they just don't think about that stuff," Wall said.
Wall is hoping to purchase the trailer and some contents in the next couple of weeks.
Replacing the contents of the trailer will still require a fundraising effort by the Troop and First United Methodist.
A fund has already been established to accept donations since several people had reached out saying they wanted to pitch in.
Donations can be sent to the Arlington First United Methodist Church at 313 N. Center Street, Arlington, TX 76011.