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Charity burglary leaves families without Christmas gifts

An organization that serves terminally ill children was burglarized today for the second time in a month, with the thief taking Christmas presents meant for three families.

Gifts were stolen from the Wishing Star office at 139 S. Sherman St. sometime between 4:30 a.m. and 5:18 a.m. today, according to the organization.

The thief or thieves entered through the window in the front door and rummaged through the office. Grocery gift cards, toys and clothes, including sweatshirts and socks, were stolen.

Dirty socks were left behind, said Paula Nordgaarden, Wishing Star’s executive director.

“It’s such a sad story,” Nordgaarden said. “This person is so desperate.”

A coffee shop and other neighboring businesses also were burglarized, Nordgaarden said.

More than $1,000 in items have been stolen from the office this month. The organization already was looking for sponsors for five families; this morning’s burglary puts an additional three families on that list, including the family of a 4-year-old girl who is visiting Spokane from the Tri-Cities today for cancer treatment.

The family’s home was burglarized a week ago and their Christmas gifts were stolen. Wishing Star was going to provide them gifts that were stolen in the office burglary.

Anyone who’d like to donate to Wishing Star can stop by the office or call (509) 744-3411