HONOLULU (KHON2) — Some keiki on Hawaii Island will have less supplies as the school year starts, thanks to thieves.

The Salvation Army Kona Corps said thousands of dollars worth of donations were stolen since Wednesday, July 27.

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It is a time to help children in need before they start the new school year. The Salvation Army Kona Corps should be sorting through donated goods this weekend –like they did in 2021 — but there is nothing left to sort after thieves broke into the non-profit.

“In the evening, the lights turn on,” said Capt. Raghel Santiago, minister at The Salvation Army Kona Corps, “they cut the cord on that, all the food were taken.”

“The back-to-school supplies that we had there, we stored there because we were supposed to start making the back-to-school backpacks this Saturday, today.”

Capt. Raghel Santiago, The Salvation Army Kona Corps minister

Santiago estimated the total loss around $4,500, and it hurts even more because of who the goods were meant for.

“There were two boxes of slippers and shoes that help children that can not afford shoes or slippers for school,” Santiago said, “those were specifically for them and they were gone too.”

Santiago’s husband is also a captain with The Salvation Army; He was the first to see the damage on Friday, July 29.

“He noticed that the doors were busted, they were closed but you could see like where the crowbar came in,” Santiago said.

Whoever broke in actually left their crowbar, so it was a good thing that the cops were able to confiscate that and take it with them.”

Capt. Raghel Santiago, The Salvation Army Kona Corps minister

KHON2 reached out to Big Island police and is waiting to hear back. Santiago said donations in Kona are sorely needed in the meantime — either in-person or through The Salvation Army website.

“If they designate it specifically to Kona, it will go to Kona,” Santiago said.

Santiago remains hopeful that the community will step up to help as public schools start on Monday, Aug. 1.

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“And I thank God that there are people like you who want to stand alongside us,” Santiago said, “so that we can do the most good with what God provides for us and that is the blessings to be able to help bless others.”