An organization that works hard to support people who are down on their luck has suffered a setback after a robbery last week.
According to Robin Campbell at Manna Ministry, thieves broke into the Manna Ministry van which was parked at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington and cleaned it out sometime on June 20. Campbell said thieves took everything, including some expensive tents.
Campbell is the front man for the organization within the Parksville Fellowship Baptist Church that helps provide food and clothing to the local homeless. He conducts his charity work out of the Manna Ministry van which is parked on Hirst Ave near the Rod and Gun every Saturday from 10:30 to 1 p.m.
Campbell is a welcome sight for many of the community’s less fortunate people and he is saddened and shocked that anyone would stoop so low and steal the items they hand out to the less fortunate people in the community.
He said it is only a $1000 van and to put an alarm in it would cost more than the vehicle would cost.
“Its a real old van with 400,000 miles on it and they jimmied the lock to get in. It would cost too much to put an alarm on it,” he conceded, and added, “The whole idea is to have it stocked and prepared to go at all times so we are ready to respond to any emergency.”
He said the burglars didn’t damage anything and they didn’t take all the sleeping bags but they did get away with some tents and all their dry goods.
“They took all the food, the dog food, the personal items…they totally emptied us out,” he reported.
He said despite the loss volunteers had the van out on Saturday after they restocked it but now they have new issues to deal with.
He admitted they are so concerned a theft will happen again, they will be unloading the van after each use and keeping the supplies in a secure place which means much more work for their volunteers.
He said it was likely someone who was desperate who broke into the van, but Campbell said it is unfortunate they just didn’t come to him for help because he would be more than happy to assist them.
“I hope whoever took it is in need.”
He said the tents are expensive, and so is the food so now they hope some donations will come in.
Anyone who wants to donate to Manna Ministry can call 250-248-0845 or drop off donations at the Parksville Baptist Church on Pym St. in Parksville.