A thief who broke into the Committee on Abuse in Residential Schools Society over the weekend, stealing an estimated $3,000 and personal objects, seems to be having a change of heart.
Joanne Henry, the society’s executive director, heard on Thursday from a person close to the thief that the stolen items may be returned.
Henry is hopeful, but also cautious until she actually gets the stolen goods back.
The thief entered through the bathroom window and took, among other things, a cheque book, a laptop, sleeping bags and a drum.
The break-in will force the organization to look into beefing up security.
“I never wanted to put in a security system, you go on trust, because of the work we do,” Henry said.
“You don’t want to have it like an institution, like residential school,” she said.
Henry emphasized that the break-in is particularly cruel because of the work she and others do. The organization offers a safe place for residential school survivors to meet.
Despite the initial shock upon discovering the break-in, Henry said she was overwhelmed by the community support.
“For me, to see the support we got was such a good feeling,” she said. “It was so uplifting.”
Still, she can’t fathom why anybody would break into a non-profit helping residential school survivors. “It’s not like we have a lot of stuff,” she said.
“You sit back and go, ‘Why am I trying so hard to do something when this is what we’re gonna run into?’” she said.
If the items stolen are not returned, it will be the people she works with and help every day that will be impacted.
“We just ask, “Respect our organization,” said Henry.
CAIRS is just the latest victim in a spate of break-ins. Other non-profits hit in recent weeks include the Whitehorse Boys and Girls Club and the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter.