On July 23rd, the Maryland Book Bank van, which we use to gather and donate books for schools and families across the city, was stolen from our warehouse. On Friday it was returned to us, although the reunion was bittersweet as it was vandalized. The back window was shattered, our logo was replaced with gold spray paint, pages from a book about the artist Vincent Van Gogh were plastered on its sides, and the words “Van Go” were sprayed painted onto the hood. Our license plate was also crudely altered, leading to speculation that whoever took the van originally planned to keep it. Although we are thankful for the van’s return, it is estimated that repair costs may be upwards of $5,000. After the theft, we set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a new van, raising more than $6,000 in only two days. As the original purpose of the GoFundMe page was to replace our missing van, donations will be returned to donors who don’t otherwise specify that they want to help pay for the repairs. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who rallied behind us during this trying time. We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support and kindness we have received.
Author: Megan Koch, Program Intern