Westlake community lends helping hand to nonprofit after thefts, vandalism

GoFundMe started for charity that had their special needs vehicles vandalized

WESTLAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - Chris Garr, once a youth volunteer, is now the CEO of Youth Challenge in Westlake.

His agency serves more than 200 young people in its Youth Empowerment Leadership Project. Almost 60 percent of its participants have Cerebral Palsy, 13 percent have spinal cord injuries, 7 percent have muscular dystrophy and 8 percent are blind.

The mission of his nonprofit was severely cut back this week when some heartless thieves stole from his agency.

“Over the weekend somebody came in and cut the catalytic converters out of five of our lift vehicles. From what I’m told that can happen in less than a minute,” he said.

Garr says the theft forced the cancellation of programs yesterday and today, and now he’s forced to cough up thousands of dollars in repairs.

Fortunately, a GoFundMe drew in more than $5,000 to help cover the costs, and his fleet of vans should be all back up and running soon.

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