DEVASTATED: Karen Bell and her son Allan are still reeling after a charity jar with hundreds of dollars in it was stolen. Picture: Neil RichardsonLONGFORD’S chances of building a disability-friendly swing for children have been put in jeopardy, after thieves stole hundreds of dollars worth of funds for the project.
Flip ‘n’ Scoops owner Karen Bell –a mother of 14, including three disabled children –has placed donation jarsin six businesses across the Midlandstown in an attempt to raise $73,000 for the Liberty Swing.
The device allows children to swing at their local park while safely seated in their wheelchair.
The mountainous task of raising the small fortune was made even more difficult for Mrs Bell last month when the thieves struck –stealing about $400 from JJ’s Bakery.
“The council has given us a $5000 donation, but that means we still have to raise over $60,000,” she said.
“(The children’spark and Libertyswing were) ideal to put Longford on the map.”
In total, Longford has raised$1860 for the swing, but that figure would have been closer to $2200, had the donation jarnot been stolen.
The town has been fundraising for a year and the project is registered on the popular Go Fund Me website.
JJ’s Bakery owner Sharon Drake called the theft “disgusting”.
She said the crime had taken its toll on the regional community and impacted Mrs Bell’s chances of “fulfilling her dream”.
“It just makes you sad,” she said.
“You wouldn’t think people would do something like that.”
A complaint has been made to the Longford police station and an investigation is underway.
Anyone looking to donate to the cause can do so by placing money in any of the six jarsin Longford.
They are located at Flip ‘n’ Scoops on Wellington Street, JJ’s Bakery on Wellington Street, Longford Bottle Shop on Wellington Street,LongfordNewsagencyon Marlborough Street, and Jo’s Takeaway on Marlborough Street.
Anyone with information about the theft should contact Longford police on 131 444, or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.
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