A South Jersey community is lending a helping hand after a thief stole hundreds of dollars in donations.
Each year Pat Martin and her son Jason, the owners of Balsamo’s Pizza in Lindenwold, host a backyard party for Memorial Day.
“It’s for our employees, customers and their families,” said Pat.
According to Martin, 350 people attended this year’s event at her home on Sunday, including some strangers. Party attendees donated money to the Animal Orphanage in Voorhees, placing it in a jar. At some point on Sunday, the Martin’s noticed the donation jar was completely empty.
“They didn’t just take the big bills,” said Jason. “There was nothing left!”
Jason and Pat say a thief or thieves stole the money.
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“I was very angry because we invite you to my home and then you steal from my home,” Pat said. “On top of that, it was a charity donation! So that made it like a zillion times worse.”
Once word spread of the theft, customers at Balsamo’s quickly took action, and new donations poured in.
A website was created to take in the money and an anonymous donor even dropped off $1,000 in cash, far surpassing the amount raised at the party.
“It makes me feel good,” Pat said. “Because at least I know that there are more good people in the world than there are bad.”
If you have any information on the theft, please call the Berlin Borough Police at (856) 767-4700.