A Maine church community came together to replace a church volunteer’s stolen tools after he was in the middle of working on a project for the church.
The 67-year-old volunteer for the Boothbay Harbor United Methodist Church was working on storm windows for installation, left the tools inside to mow the lawn, and noticed they were gone, the Boothbay Register reported.
“Are you kidding me,” Gearry Judkins remembered thinking after realizing his tools were gone. “They may have walked in and thought the tools were up for grabs, but I don’t think so. Things were laid out on the floor, like a painting caulking gun, scrapers and brushes. So it looked like a work area and I don’t think it was a mistake.”
Gearry and his wife, Tammy, immediately wanted to seek justice for what happened. Gearry filed a report with the local police, and Tammy made a Facebook post about the incident.
“The reaction was immediate with people offering to help,” Gearry said. “People out of state said they were coming to Boothbay Harbor this weekend and wanted to help.”
Locals also offered their support in the form of donations. Hawke Motors raised $160 and Brady’s Pub raised nearly $400 in one day.
A local hardware store also contacted him about stopping by to replace his missing tools.
The owner of Brady’s Pub saw the Facebook post about the missing tools, contacted a friend, and raised enough money to replace them within 24 hours.
A few days after Tammy’s initial Facebook post, someone left a tote bag filled with wire brushes, screwdrivers, a hack saw, pliers, and small wrenches at the church.
“That was great somebody thought to let me have tools they no longer needed,” Gearry said.
This is not the first time the community has stepped in when a church or other charity has been stolen from.
In 2019, a Colorado charity parked in a lot of a church had their trailer stolen, but they bounced back with a bigger trailer and support from the community to expand their charity into a mobile food truck.
In 2014, a Whitefield, New Hampshire, church was burglarized of all of its gifts supposed to be set aside for the needy, but community members from all over replaced the stolen presents through their contributions and then some within 24 hours.