Burglar targets nonprofit in Olympia, stealing cash and gift cards for needy

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A local nonprofit is scrambling to replenish resources after a burglar stole cash and gift cards set aside to help dozens of families.

It happened at the Family and Education Support Services in Olympia over a span of two days this weekend. Organizers are hopeful surveillance video will lead them to the man responsible.

Family Education and Support Services prides itself on helping others, but organizers say the burglar helped himself to their safe this weekend.

“In our safe was petty cash, daily operating cash, donations from the community, gift cards we give to families in need,” said Executive Director Shelly Willis.

Willis said they lost about $1,000, an amount she said will affect about 50 families this month.

“We struggle to get those resources and it’s disheartening when they aren’t available and someone comes in; we don’t want to say no,” said Willis.

Willis added that to make matters worse, the burglar came back the next day trying to get more, but got scared before he could get away with the goods.

Willis said he loaded up computer equipment, sewing machines, a projector, and even a hearing aid beside the front door. He presumably intended to load it all into his car.

Willis said while the incident has been a major setback, it won’t stop them from continuing their mission.

“The good part is that we are being supported in the community, so we’re going to choose to look on the brighter side,” said Willis.

Anyone who may recognize the man from the video is asked to call Olympia Police. As for the nonprofit, they are still looking to replenish resources.

If you’d like to help replenish the organization’s resources head to:

www.familyeducationandsupport.org and click Donate Now.