Thieves broke into a storage facility in Nitro and stole toys that had been collected for ill children.
Basket of Hope, a Christian charity, has branches throughout the country, including West Virginia, said Sarah Badger, local branch coordinator. The organization relies on monetary donations and gifts of new toys to fill baskets that are delivered to children suffering from serious conditions such as cancer, Badger said.
Sometime over the weekend, the local organization's storage locker was broken into and numerous toys taken. Among toys that were stolen were numerous Barbie dolls, doll accessories, and action figures as well as unknown new merchandise in boxes yet to be sorted.
"We take donations and shop for some things that go into baskets to get kids specific things they like," she said. "I try to keep shelves organized but there were several boxes I had not yet gone through."
The inventory included some nice things thanks to a toy drive by a law firm.
"We work on donations," she said. "We've had a few fundraisers but it takes money to make money."
Basket of Hope was brought to the Charleston area in 2011 by a woman whose daughter had cancer, she said. The child is now doing well, she added.
Former Marshall University and National Football League player Chris Massey and his wife, Sarah, are involved in the organization. Chris Massey does a lot of the deliveries to kids and spends time with them.
"We partner with the NFL and the players do a lot of deliveries," Badger said.
When Massey delivers a basket to a child, the act always brings a smile.