Donations for anti-bullying hotline stolen from local business, community responds

Local News

ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — A stolen donation jar from a local business has the community rallying around them and the nonprofit they’re supporting.

On Sunday night, someone went into Wise Guys Pizza and stole a jar for donations to the Report a Bully Hotline.

When Bob Goss, the owner, discovered it was missing Monday morning, he said he was heartbroken but determined to do something.

Since September, the shop has been collecting donations for the hotline in honor of Wyatt Lansberry, a 12-year-old boy who ended his life because he was bullied. Donation jars like this collect money to keep the hotline up and running.

“We’ve had a lot of success, on average $50 every two weeks, so that helped a lot with the burden of the hotline,” Goss said.

Over the holidays, Goss didn’t get to deliver the donations for December.

“(There was) $150, $200 easily in there,” he said.

Wyatt’s dad, Marc, told Goss he would come in for the donations this week.

“He came in Monday morning and we realized it was gone,” Goss said.

Surveillance footage shows the entire incident. Goss said the jar was taken Sunday night.

“Many a times, I thought about taking it off the counter and emptying it, but honestly, I was like, “Nobody…nobody’s gonna take that,” and…it made me really angry when they called and said it was gone.

After posting about the theft on social media, customers and community members wanted to help, nearly doubling what was originally collected.

“I went from anger to astonished that you know wheres something bad end up turning something good and the public outpour was way more than I thought,” Goss said.

And as for the thief, Goss said he’s no longer angry.

“I just hope that his judgement day will come,” he said.

Altoona Police Department is continuing to search for the suspect in the security video.

Goss said $1 from every special they sell on Wednesday will go towards the hotline.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Don't Miss