CHICAGO - It is a blessing for mothers and expectant mothers on the West Side as people respond after thieves steal thousands of dollars' worth of baby goods from a church in the Austin neighborhood.
The diapers and other items were supposed to have been given away on Saturday, but the event was canceled.
Pastor Michael Wright showed FOX 32 some of what has been donated in the past 24 hours, filling up the basement of the Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church of Austin.
The story started on Friday when the side door to the church was inadvertently left open and what happened next was captured on security cameras.
"We have some videos of all the people coming in, going out. Coming in, going out. They acted like it was a store or something," Wright said.
Pastor Wright says about a dozen people took thousands of dollars' worth of donated diapers, baby formula and baby wipes that were supposed to be given away to hundreds of mothers and expectant mothers at a baby bank event on Saturday.
"When I walked in and saw that there was nothing, my heart just dropped. It was terrible," Wright said.
But when word of the theft began to spread, something amazing happened. Scores of people, mostly strangers, began pulling up and donating new baby items.
"Because this is my community. I live in Austin. And we’re not like this. I don’t know what made him do that, but no, that’s not right," said Yvonne Walker, who donated toys.
"We have a diaper pantry in Evanston and we figured if this place needed diapers we should be spreading some of what we have," said Jane Cheema.
And a big donation from the Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, which also donated many of the items that were stolen.
"People have been coming through like crazy. When I say like crazy, people are coming through being a blessing to our church, really being a blessing to our community like crazy," Wright said.