Donor surprises Baton Rouge church ministry targeted by thieves
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A local church ministry that was hit by thieves is back in business.
Revive 225 organizers said that after seeing the details of the incident on 9News Friday, people from across the country called to help.
Drills, saws, air compressors, and a large assortment of power tools were delivered to First United Methodist Church of Baton Rouge.
The church's ministry, Revive 225, uses that type of equipment to help repair homes in north, old south and downtown Baton Rouge. Last week, thieves broke into the groups storage containers on South 14th Street and helped themselves to tens of thousands of dollars in equipment.
Molly Ann Walke helps recruit student volunteers for Revive 225.
"I was out of the country so I didn't have my phone but when I opened it up I was just devastated," Walke said.
George Ragsdale, executive director of Revive 225, said news of the burglary spread fast.
"We've had groups from as far away as Tennessee and West Virginia said, 'Hey listen, what do you need? We will be glad to help you guys. We believe in what you do,'" Ragsdale said.
One of those groups was GMFS Residential Mortgage Lending. President and CEO Tee Brown said when he heard about Revive 225's impact on the community, the decision was easy.
"We've been in business for 17 years, and we try to give back to the community in a manner we thing can make a difference," Brown said. "We are in residential lending. This is making a difference for our community, improving property values, things we can certainly get behind."
This summer, Revive 225 expects to put 500 volunteers to work repairing and estimated 25 to 30 homes. Thanks to the generosity of people like GMFS, their efforts will not go unnoticed.
"I was over the moon excited. I mean, it's all brand spanking new and we're going to put it to great use, and I know our students are going to be so excited to get their hands on those tools," Walke said.
Police still have no known suspects in the burglary. Anyone with information that could help them bring this case to a close is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.
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