Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation board member and full-time volunteer Sally Kotselenis stands in front of the boarded-up door after the popular thrift store was broken into on Jan. 7.

Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation board member and full-time volunteer Sally Kotselenis stands in front of the boarded-up door after the popular thrift store was broken into on Jan. 7.

Fibromyalgia foundation is latest Langley charity to be hit by thieves

Cost to replace broken window exceeds the amount of cash stolen during thrift store robbery

What kind of person steals from a charity? That is the question Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation Thrift Shoppe volunteers were asking after they arrived at the store on Jan. 7 to find  the front door smashed and money missing.

Using a piece of concrete left behind at the scene, the thief broke the glass of the front door around 5 a.m., and headed straight to the back where the till is kept. The charity store keeps only a small amount of cash on the premises, so the thief didn’t get away with much money, but the deductible to replace the door is costly.

“It’s really bad timing as we are on the heels of fundraising for our big walk from our store in Langley to Banff on May 24,” said Well Spring media relations co-ordinator Leia Kett.

Several of the foundation’s board members, including founder Cheryl Young, arrived shortly after police did and spent the morning cleaning up the glass.

“A lot of people rely on our store, so we worked hard to clean up the mess and get open,” said Kett.

There are several full-time volunteers who run the store and around 15 others who are there part-time, many of whom have special needs.

Fibromyalgia Well Spring Foundation opened its thrift store in Heritage Square, in the 20600 block of Fraser Highway, five years ago.

Since opening, the store has been busy, but around it numerous tenants of the mall have left, including anchor tenant Envision Credit Union and, more recently, a pizza shop. A former Vietnamese restaurant has sat empty for some time, with homeless people periodically setting up camp under the building’s overhang.

In fact, the thrift store has been helping the homeless for some time, said Kett.  At Christmas, volunteers created care bags and handed them out around the City. One of the regular homeless people came around on the day of the break-in and they supplied a coat to her because she looked cold, she said.

The Foundation offers support groups for people with invisible illness and their families, as well as helping out the homeless with donations of clothing, blankets, food, jackets and more.

Please contact 2006fwsf@gmail.com if you want to volunteer or support the foundation. Or to learn more about their walk or programs go to their Facebook page.