NJ Teen Gets Clothes to Needy, Then Someone Steals All of Hers
Friends and family are rallying to help a South Jersey teen whose charity donates clothing to the needy — but whose own luggage was stolen from the back of her mom's SUV.
Neighbor Lisa Sibley immediately created a GoFundMe page to help replace what 18-year-old Katelyn Darrow called her "entire existence" inside three suitcases packed for her flight from Philadelphia to California, where she is attending college.
Her original flight was canceled and the fully packed car sat all night in the driveway of her Pitman home, according to a post by the Angels of God Clothing Closet on its Facebook page. Darrow founded the group about six years ago.
The next morning, Darrow found the back window smashed and the suitcases gone, Katelyn's mother, Elissa Darrow, wrote on the Facebook page.
"Katelyn's suitcases and a box we were going to mail were all stolen. Everything she was taking to college gone," Elissa Darrow wrote. The items included textbooks, bed sheets, a camera and other personal items.
Katelyn said that the theft is "not the end of the world" and she was able to put things in perspective by recalling some of the people living in their cars and in terrible situations that Angels of God Clothing Closet has helped. Katelyn says she was also forced to "minimize and downsize" what she needs.
Nearly $3,000 had been donated to the the GoFundMe site as of late Thursday morning.
"We're so used to helping others, and this situation along with the outpouring support has been humbling," Elissa Darrow in a second post.
Katelyn says Pitman Police have not yet found who broke into the car but was told that there has been a recent increase in break-ins in the Gloucester County community.
A fire destroyed Katelyn Darrow's family home when she was 9 years old and the generosity of others motivated her to establish Angels of God Clothing Closet when she was 12, according to the group. The charity's goal is to provide clothing, toiletries, food and more to those in need at no charge. Katelyn expects the organization to continue without her physical presence thanks to "an amazing support system" headed by her two sisters, Lindsay and Brenna.