BRONZEVILLE — Chicago rapper Vic Mensa’s nonprofit is raising money after roughly $40,000 worth of shoes, medical supplies and other items were stolen from the organization’s storage space at Overton Elementary School in Bronzeville.
SaveMoneySafeLife has launched a fundraiser to replace the supplies stolen two weeks ago. They were collected to support initiatives the group organizes.
Laundi Keepseagle, SaveMoneySaveLife’s executive director, said the stolen goods include at least 300 kids-sized jackets; more than 20 boxes of medical supplies; personal protective equipment; warming items, including gloves and hand warmers; and $30,000-$40,000 worth of shoes for an annual shoe distribution drive.
The group’s members were in the process of moving the supplies when the classroom they were using to store items at Overton Elementary was ransacked Dec. 31, Keepseagle said.
A Chicago police spokesman said a person reported seeing someone go into a public building in the 200 block of East 49th Street — where the school is located — and take a large number of shoes. Police are investigating.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Keepseagle said. “It’s not stealing from Vic or from an individual. It’s going to DCSF shelters and the community … . It’s not for us.”
SaveMoneySafeLife has stored items at the closed school building since October with the owner’s permission. The group had moved two loads of supplies to a new storage space in North Lawndale when the classroom was broken into, Keepseagle said.
“Blood, sweat and tears have gone into moving these donations from all the people who support us, and it’s gone,” Keepseagle said.
Mensa echoed Keepseagle’s frustrations.
“It’s unfortunate when the community has to pay the price for people’s personal greed,” Mensa said.
The group has been working to bring critical supplies to families on the South and West sides and to people experiencing homelessness.
Despite the huge blow to the nonprofit, Mensa expressed hope they would forge ahead.
“We will have to hustle twice as hard,” Mensa said.
After Mensa posted about the theft, people from across Chicago and the world have offered to help support SaveMoneySafeLife, he said. They’ve raised $4,200 through a Flipcause campaign since Monday and set up an Amazon Wishlist.
Mensa thinks the work the group has done over the past few years has made an impact in the community, which is why people have been willing to help.
“We have blessed to have a lot of support from the city and people all over the world. I’m faithful that support will get us where we need to go,” he said.
You can donate to SaveMoneySafeLife here.
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