Wednesday morning as staff members at Interfaith Action of Central Texas were coming to work, they noticed their 6-foot-by-12-foot white cargo trailer was gone from their parking lot on East 17th Street.
The trailer with license plate 45ZPSB is used throughout the year for the nonprofit organization’s Hands on Housing program, which repairs homes for people in need. But throughout December and January, it becomes the place where the group stores the in-kind donations for its Season for Caring family.
The Statesman Season for Caring program features the stories of 12 families nominated by local nonprofit groups each year. In-kind donations and monetary donations go to help the featured families as well as hundreds of other families through the nonprofit agencies.
For the 2015 program, Interfaith Action nominated Rosa Lee Pennick, an 85-year-old woman who is caring for three seniors ages 70 to 100 in her home.
Typically, Interfaith Action collects items and then delivers them quickly to the family. But this year, it was waiting to deliver a load of donations until after ABC Home & Commercial completed bed bug eradication this week. ABC had donated 50 percent of the cost of the service to help Pennick.
The trailer was holding a wheelchair, electric scooter with hand controls, large-capacity washer and dryer, a stove/oven, adult diapers and bed pads, worth a total of $3,465.
Interfaith Action has filed a police report and is working with its insurance company to see what might be covered.
This is not the first time a nonprofit organization has had a trailer stolen. Last April, Mobile Loaves & Fishes had a trailer stolen that it used for its art program.
If you can donate an item for the Pennick family, contact Interfaith Action, 512-386-9145, interfaithtexas.org. Season for Caring is still collecting monetary donations through Sunday for the 2015 program. Make a donation at statesman.com/seasonforcaring or with the coupon on page D3.