Syracuse rallies behind St. Lucy’s after thieves steal $18,000 worth of gifts for Christmas Gift Giveaway

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Every year, St. Lucy’s Church in Syracuse puts together a Christmas Gift Giveaway, helping hundreds of families in need.

But this year, the church needs the community’s help.

Thousands of dollars worth of gifts collected over the last eight months were stolen from the warehouse where St. Lucy’s keeps its stockpile.

Nick Salibrici is one of the co-coordinators of the Christmas Gift Giveaway.

He said a group of young kids were caught on camera breaking in at least twice in August.

They had dozens of bins filled with more than 1,500 presents. The kids who broke in wiped them clean.

“The boldness to come in and take that much stuff, I mean it’s $15-20,000 worth of stuff.”

Nick Salibrici

“We collect between 300 to 400 toys for kids every year, we collect 300 to 400 pieces of clothing for children every year,” he said.

They also collect more than 700 clothing items for adults and more than 700 household gifts for adults.

Now, they have to start over, but they don’t have to do it alone.

Once the church learned about all it lost, a GoFundMe page was started. Within a week, it raised more than $20,000.

It’s kind of a love story right, and that’s what St. Lucy’s is all about. I mean that’s why I’m a member at St. Lucy’s because we’re all about community and everyone kind of being welcomed to the table. So, I wasn’t surprised really by the show of support that we got.

Nick Salibrici

Now they’re building back the holiday magic.

Volunteers have stepped up, offering to go out and shop for all the gifts they need, and they’re determined to make this year’s drive another success.

If you’re looking to help shop for the drive, call St. Lucy’s at 315-475-7273.

If you know anything about the investigation into the theft, call Syracuse Police at 315-442-5222.

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