Big donation from community after thieves target Camden youth nonprofit

Christie Ileto Image
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
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A nonprofit outreach group in Camden got a big boost from the community after thieves stole dozens of their bikes last month.

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A nonprofit outreach group in Camden, New Jersey got a big boost from the community after thieves stole dozens of its bicycles last month.

Tuesday was the first time in almost five weeks that Kimberliz Rosario and other children got to ride on a bike in the after-school program at Lifting Up Camden's Youth, aka LUCY Outreach.

Back in October, thieves broke into the nonprofit's shed and stole more than two dozen bikes.

"This is like so amazing,'' said Rosario. "I'm so glad to have these."

The nonprofit provides programming for about 200 children during the pandemic.

SEE ALSO: Thieves steal dozens of bikes from youth nonprofit in Camden

Action News was first to report about the brazen theft last month. Each stolen bike costs between $200 to $800.

"It was really upsetting and traumatic, especially for the youth because that was a safe space for us to be out especially during COVID," said LUCY program director Kristin Prinn.

After our story aired in October, residents donated almost 100 bikes to the nonprofit, while Camden-based companies Subaru and American Water together gifted more than $33,000.

"We're excited to provide the donations to LUCY Outreach and have the bike program up and running even with winter coming," said Joe Szafran, a spokesperson for American Water.

"It's pretty amazing what all these companies and corporations have done, have donated, have been there to support us," said student Leslie Medina.

The donations will be used to improve on-site security with new surveillance cameras. The nonprofit is also using the donated funds to purchase more bikes and gear for next year.

The mayor's office is donating a shipping container to house the donated bikes.