Vandals destroy cars for single moms at church

July 18, 2008 5:33:37 PM PDT
Vandals targeted charitable gifts in Chicago's northwest suburbs - cars that were meant for single mothers.It happened in the tiny suburb of Medinah.

The cars were part of a church ministry program to help women and families. And now, that program may be in jeopardy.

Single mom Erin Zwirlein was on the list to receive one of the vandalized cars from the Medinah Baptist Church Car Ministry. She said her current vehicle has more than 180,000 miles on it and is on its last leg.

"I just make do and do what I have to do and hope it will last for a little longer. I was just horrified that anybody would do that, especially to a church," she said.

Church officials discovered the five cars in the lot were vandalized on Saturday, July 5. Volunteers were hoping to restore the cars in order to give them to single mothers or disadvantaged families in need of a car.

One car was still in the parking lot because vandals took the keys and title. Church director Dean Scott says it would cost too much to repair the cars.

"It's severely impacted the ministry because right now we have no cars to give away and for the single moms on the waiting list, this could mean another six months," he said.

Scott says in four years, they've given away 40 cars

Lorena Rea is a single mom who got a Volvo from the church car ministry three months ago.

"It's pretty sad because there's a lot of single moms and people that need cars and this would be a big plus for them," she said.

Four of the five vandalized cars have now been removed from the parking lot. One van was taken to another lot. The cars, which are between 10 to 14 years old, were donated by church members waiting to be repaired. Scott says the future of the church ministry program is in question.

"We'll still do it in some form but it will not be the same," he said.

Scott said he believes the vandalism was a random act and that fortunately no one was injured.


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