Austin nonprofit target of several thefts

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A South Austin thrift shop has been the victim of multiple thefts.

The Austin Harmony Project is a nonprofit organization that helps people with developmental disabilities.

“What Harmony does for them is, it gives them purpose and makes them feel wanted and it makes them feel special,” said Tressie Seegers, who has donated her heart to the project and says it is more than just a program. “Some of them don’t have parents. We are in a way their parents.”

Money brought in from the Harmony Thrift Shop helps fund the program, which costs about $15,000 a month.

But within the last 30 days, surveillance cameras at the shop were able to capture two incidents of people taking donated items.

“She wipes them off, removes some items and takes the table,” said Assistant Director James Sharkey. “Every quarter, every 25 cents, every dime we make helps our program and helps us run this program, so it hurts really bad.”

One woman stole four chairs in broad daylight.

“It’s an ongoing battle we’ve been going through, so that’s why we put up the cameras.”

The program’s founder says the thefts are really hurting the people they help.

“For them, to try and explain it to them,” Seegers said, “they just don’t understand how someone can come and take something of ours without paying for it.”

Owners of the shop have filed a police report and say they just want their stuff back so they can get back to focusing on helping the people they strive to serve.

To donate to The Austin Harmony Project, click on the ‘donate now’ button on the organization’s site.

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