Lucas George of Airdrie's Humble Boxing Academy was stunned when over the weekend, he found that a trailer containing sports equipment, as well as hoodies, medals, and a large number of non-perishable food items that the academy had collected during a food drive in April had been pilfered.
George had alerted the community to the incident in a social media post over the weekend.
"We have put on an all-women's charity event [at the end of April] and when we do these events, we asked people to bring non-perishable food items," he explained.
George added that other items, including sodas and chips that hadn't been sold at the event, were also stored in the trailer, were meant to be donated to the Airdrie Food Bank. Humble Boxing had planned to drop the food off at the Airdrie Food Bank on Monday (May 29).
"When I went to my trailer, it was hard to open up the back door and [then I] realized everything was gone," George said. "Running a boxing gym, you meet all sorts of people and one of the main reasons our gym does what it does for the community is because it's an outlet, especially for struggling people and boxing can change the lives of certain children that are struggling."
He underlined that he is not looking to press charges, but is hopeful that whoever was responsible for taking the items will come forward.
"If people are going to the extent to be stealing - stealing all the food - not just the medals and clothing, a part of me feels like maybe they needed it. Sometimes people do what they have to do. It doesn't make it right in any way, shape or form," George said. "If I got the opportunity to meet these people or person, then maybe we can help them so that they don't continue down that path; we can help them financially or we can help them with opportunities. That's kind of what I'm looking for."
As for the equipment that was also taken, because the gym offers free training to children as well as free training to parents, George said that the equipment is used by those in need.
"When we lose our equipment and gear, financially, it does hurt us quite a bit. We would like our equipment back because competition gear is quite expensive."
Although he recognizes that the individuals responsible may be hesitant to come forward, he took pains to stress, no one is out for retribution.
"We're just looking to have our stuff back and if they needed the food, well then they needed the food - at least it went to someone in need."
There is a discussion of perhaps organizing an internal fundraiser to try and replace the food that was meant to be donated to the Airdrie Food Bank.
"It's upsetting because we always want to give back to the food bank and I think we will [maybe] ask the public if they wanted to swing by our gym and donate a couple of items, and we can try to replenish the stock."
Although the social media post has been shared widely, there have been no concrete leads as to who may have been responsible for the incident.
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