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Broken into, vandalized, stolen from: Calgary youth centre hit hard at horrible time


"Sad, devastating and despicable," is how Gar Gar describes recent break-ins at the Youth and Empowerment Skills Centre in Calgary's southeast.

Friday, the YES Centre's executive director was still reeling from thousands of dollars in stolen or damaged goods and the knowledge he's entering the holiday season with far less available to give.

Gar says he believes the break-ins were targeted, and that the person or people responsible cut through a fence lock, twice, to gain entry.

Once inside, Gar says, they caused "total destruction."

In the aftermath of the incidents, the YES Centre has lost several dozen used laptops that were ready to be distributed to those in need, and a couple dozen more that were still being tested.

A couple dozen brand-new laptops still in their boxes were also targeted, as well as several dozen laptops, desktops and tablets set up for visitors of the centre to use.

Up to a dozen expensive bikes donated to the centre are also gone, among other items meant to go to children in need.

"This has been devastating and indescribable, for someone to target a youth centre where all of those items are 100 per cent given by the community, for the community. It has also set us back, as we have been working hard during the pandemic, and continue to support our vulnerable at-risk youths, low-income families and our community," Gar wrote.

"Those thieves may have stolen from us the most important items that have impact in many vulnerable lives in our community, but they can never steal our hope, faith and belief in good.

"May the light of good triumph over darkness and evil."

Hopeful that Calgarians feel the same, Gar and the YES Centre set up a GoFundMe page, to try and recover some or all of what they've lost, so they can get back to paying it forward. Top Stories

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