Charlotte foundation won’t let theft stop Spirit of Giving

A Nov. 20 break-in and the theft of new clothing and toys is not dampening the generosity of event organizers who aim to help children.

Our Foundation for Children will go ahead with its annual Spirit of Giving event Dec. 13 at 5630 Phillips St. in Charlotte.

But time is short for additional donations to be ready for distribution.

The Charlotte-area nonprofit foundation uses volunteers to mentor and tutor children, primarily those with behavioral issues, in schools in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties.

It also offers access to computers and the Internet so that students can do homework. According to its website, the foundation’s Project ASAP after-school program supports at-risk and underserved adolescents at Ridge Road, Martin Luther King Jr. and James Martin middle schools.

And each year Christmas time, the foundation gives children and their families toys, clothing and food.

But burglars recently raided one of the organization’s storage buildings, taking toys, a lawnmower and children’s clothing, as well as other items.

“The new clothes are gone. We have some items left, but not nearly the number we had planned,” said Clair Lane of Our Foundation for Children.

“It’s a disservice to the community to have these very items taken, to prevent many needy families from receiving them. OFC’s efforts may have been diminished by this burglary, but we will not be deterred,” Lane said.

“We give three toys to each child, some clothes, a warmth pack of gloves, a scarf, a hat and a pair of earmuffs, and food,” she said.

“Last year we helped about 1,500 children, and we’d like to do more,” Lane said. “We want to thank everyone for the time, money, food and toys donated. Many families have benefited from their philanthropy.”

She said people can help by donating new or gently-used coats and jackets, new or gently-used toys appropriate for children up to age 12, and food that can be easily prepared – like peanut butter, macaroni and cheese in a box, vienna sausages and protein bars.

The foundation also encourages people to donate gloves, hats, earmuffs and scarves.

In addition, monetary donations are welcome. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, so donations are tax deductible.

Besides supporting the children and their families throughout the year, the group also hosts a backpack distribution event that last year delivered 1,600 backpacks filled with school supplies to schoolchildren.