Action Report: Viewers replace non-profit's stolen tools

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wwltv.com

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 10 at 5:40 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- When the leaders of Youth Rebuilding New Orleans showed the new tools their program received, their amazement was summed up in just seven words:

"Well, I mean it was really incredible," said Jack Styczynski, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans second in command and AmeriCorps member.

But it was incredible shock they felt when they first emailed the Action Line in early January. Youth Rebuilding New Orleans works with volunteers repairing damaged houses so they can become homes again for teachers.

So they couldn't believe it when $5,000 worth of equipment was stolen, and that included nearly all of their power tools.

"A little bit of disgust," Youth Rebuilding New Orleans Executive Director William Stoudt said at the time. "It's kind of the feeling that you know everything's gone, but really you just want to close it and open it again and see if they're there."

At the time of the first Action Report, they were really worried. They had volunteers coming and no real way to replace the tools that were stolen.

They were hoping for some help, but had no idea what would happen in moments.

"We went from having a really, really bad day to almost immediately having a great day," said Stoudt. "After that piece aired, just the voicemail filled up, we got emails, we got calls from everywhere."

"They were offering tools that they didn't need any more," Jack said. "Salvation Army really helped us out with tools that they had they had that were left over that they weren't using."

They're back in business thanks to help from across the country.

"We've been able to replace everything that we lost, and we would never have been able to do that without old volunteers from across the country mailing tools, from people writing checks," said Stoudt. "It means the world to us."

 

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