Man donates money for stolen uniforms

August 17, 2009 (CHICAGO) The story captured one man's heart.

It is one of those rare stories that reminds us of the power of sharing stories with viewers, especially those with kind hearts like Bob Lattas. He saw a story on our 6 p.m. news last Friday about thousands of dollars worth of school uniforms being stolen from Asian Youth Services. And that really bothered him over the weekend. So on Monday he did something very big.

"I was born to immigrant parents and I went to a private school, and I remember kids that didn't have nice clothes at all. And if these kids didn't have clothes, how are they going to be able to go to school? Over the weekend, I thought about it and it would not go away," said Good Samaritan Bob Lattas.

Bob Lattas is a successful 32-year-old real estate attorney, but he is also a teacher of sorts, reminding all of us and teaching children, perhaps, a lesson in the power of giving.

Last week, someone broke into Asian Youth Services and stole all the brand new school uniforms that had just been purchased. Those uniforms were for 36 children who attend parochial schools thanks to the help of this small storefront agency.

"You're stealing from a youth center. You are stealing second-hand clothing in which children desperately need to go to school. I don't get it. There must be a bunch of savages out there who actually did this," said Lattas.

So on Monday, Lattas wrote a check, not for the $1,500 that the uniforms originally cost but for $3,000 dollars.

"He's amazing. He's obviously really compassionate and cares about kids," said Shari Fenton, director, Asian Youth Services.

Fenton says the act of kindness has restored her faith in humanity.

"I think that people are basically good, except for the crook who stole the uniforms," said Fenton.

And Bob Lattas says the lesson he's learned by giving and giving often is that it comes back to him in spades.

"There is no better feeling than giving away what you have. What's the point of having it if I can't give it away? If I don't spend it, my wife's going to spend it, just so you know," said Lattas.

Shari Fenton says another dozen viewers have also called offering to help, some kicking in just 10 or 25 dollars. Combined, she says it will be a much better school year than she ever imagined.

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