Donation spot closes after 'Grinch' cleans it out

By The Associated Press

NEWBURGH — A southern Indiana woman who created a donation spot where people could leave clothes, toys and other items for those in need has closed it down after a “Grinch" swiped all of the donations in a single night.

Newburgh resident Janet Richard started “The Giving Wall" in early December on a retaining wall near her home where people were encouraged to leave donations so that others in need could take what they needed on the honor system.

The wall became a popular spot in the community about 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of Evansville, with plentiful donations, including toys, warm clothing and personal hygiene products, for people in need to pick up “without anybody knowing, so it was discreet," Richard said.

“The Giving Wall” also inspired other nearby communities to make the same effort, with similar donation spots popping up in Chandler and Tell City, Indiana, and another in Cloverport, Kentucky.

But Richard said on Sunday night someone visited the wall twice and took off with everything that had been left there by others, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

She said she's disappointed and has decided to end the donation spot for this year.

“I’m sorry that it turned out this way, but if I go out there and restock it again, I’m sure the same thing will probably happen," Richard said. “So it’s probably best we shut it down and think of ways we can do it better next year.”

She said she's thinking about ways to do the project again next year before Christmas while finding a way to safeguard the spirit of giving from “Grinches.”

“I wanted to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and give back to my community,” Richard said. “I’m happy that it helped people.”

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